European stocks rose in early trade on Friday, extending the previous session's tentative rebound from a week-long drop, helped by better-than-feared U.S. macro data, but lingering concerns over the euro zone debt crisis kept gains in check.

At 0804 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent at 965.00 points, on track to record a weekly loss of 2.1 percent.

There's a growing sentiment that the European Central Bank is doing quite a good job and is ready to buy more bonds if needed, preventing stocks from a complete meltdown, said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading at Global Equities.

But at the same time, we have this sword of Damocles of rating downgrades waiting to happen, so it's hard to go long.

Miners rallied along with metal prices, with Rio Tinto up 2 percent and Xstrata up 2.4 percent.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson)