European shares gained on Friday adding to Thursday's sharp rise after the Group of Seven helped calm market nerves over the Japanese earthquake-tsunami disaster by intervening to restrain a soaring yen. However, investors could turn cautious, with uncertainty still surrounding the Japanese nuclear power plant crisis and tensions high in the Middle East after the United Nations authorized military strikes on Libya.
By 4:07 a.m. ET, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,091.78 points, extending a 1.8 percent gain in the previous session, which had been buoyed by bargain hunters after the recent selloff.
"The G7 intervention is calming the markets, but we still need a few days of consolidation to think we are over the worst of it," Giles Watts, head of equities at City Index in London, said.
"It is just helping sentiment and stocks sensitive to risk will push on. But, optimism is going to be guarded as there are no firm resolutions surrounding the Japanese nuclear crisis and the Middle East and anything can happen on the weekend." The mining sector featured among the best performers, tracking copper higher helped by Chinese buying, while other base metals zinc and lead also rose. The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources was up 0.8 percent.
(Reporting by Joanne Frearson)