European shares rose on Friday on the last trading day of a dismal year, with recent positive U.S. economic data continuing to act as support.

Energy stocks featured among the best performers, boosted by the improving economic data, with the STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas index <.SXEP> up 0.5 percent.

The U.S. economic data was taken positively helping to resume the Christmas rally, Veronika Pechlaner, a fund manager on the Ashburton European equity fund, said. We favour energy stocks and find their high dividend yield attractive.

But the year has been characterised by the European debt crisis and going forward it will depend on policymakers and how they implement better fiscal integration in the euro zone to how markets will perform next year.

By 0806 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top shares was up 0.3 percent at 996.08 points and are set to end the year around 11.2 percent lower.

(Reporting by Joanne Frearson)