European shares turned positive on Thursday after data showed the U.S. economy grew in the third quarter for the first time in a year as consumer spending and investment in new home-building rebounded.

The Commerce Department, in its first estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product, said the economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate, the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2007, unofficially ending the worst recession in 70 years. It contracted 0.7 percent in the April-June period.

At 1237 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top European shares was up 0.7 percent at 987.06 points after hovering in negative territory before the data.

Financial stocks were among the top gainers, with Standard Chartered (STAN.L), HSBC (HSBA.L), Barclays (BARC.L), Lloyds (LLOY.L), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) rising 0.8 to 10.4 percent.