European shares extended gains on Tuesday after U.S. manufacturing data came in ahead of forecasts, boosting investors' confidence in the strength of the recovery in the world's biggest economy.

At 3:09 p.m., the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was up 1.2 percent at 1,024.07 points after hitting a new high for the day of 1,024.49 shortly after the data came out.

The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector accelerated in December, its best month since June, according to an industry report.

U.S. indexes, meanwhile, also rose, with the Dow Jones industrial average < .DJI>, Standard & Poor's 500 <.SPX> and Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> all up between 2.1 percent and 2.3 percent.

(Reporting by Brian Gorman)