European shares climbed in early trading on Thursday, with leading indexes adding around 1 percent following overnight stock market rallies in the United States and Asia.

The positive start is thanks to the good U.S. market performance, said German LBBW bank equities strategist Steffen Neumann, who did not see any Europe-specific factors behind the gains.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.84 percent at 1,593.85 points at 0745 GMT.

Top gainers included miner Rio Tinto, insurer AXA, banks BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse as well as industrial conglomerate Siemens.

Pharmaceuticals maker Sanofi-Aventis was among notable losers, down more than 6 percent, after a U.S. health panel recommended against marketing approval for a weight-loss pill which Sanofi-Aventis hopes will counter generic rivals.

JP Morgan downgraded Sanofi-Aventis to neutral from overweight.

Around Europe, London's FTSE 100 was 0.7 percent higher, the French CAC 40 advanced 0.9 percent and Germany's DAX was up 1.2 percent.

LBBW's Neumann said he expected subdued volumes due to the virtual lack of European news, with the release of U.S. May producer prices at 1430 GMT the next focal point for investors.