European shares rose to end near 33-week highs on Thursday as further signs of an improvement in the U.S. economy boosted sentiment towards equities.

Figures showed new claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell back to a four-year low last week and manufacturing data improved, which added to recent positive figures from Germany that suggest the global economy is slowly recovering.

Analysts and fund managers remained positive on the market's outlook in the near term, with some advising investors gradually move back to cyclicals to reap stronger benefits.

Ample liquidity provided by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central bank has put a safety net below the stock market, which is also getting support from economic numbers that are stabilising, Giuseppe-Guido Amato, strategist at German brokerage Lang & Schwarz, said.

I see an upside potential of about 5 percent for DAX by the end of April, he said, referring to the German benchmark share index, which was up 0.9 percent and has surged more than 20 percent this year after falling 14.7 percent in 2011.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares provisionally finished 0.3 percent higher at 1,101.46 points after hitting its highest since August in the previous session. The index is already up 10 percent this year, almost fully recovering after its 10.7 percent decline last year.