European shares extended gains on Thursday afternoon, with banks surging after European Union leaders struck a deal to help resolve the euro zone debt crisis.

At 15:21 SA time, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 3.9 percent at 1,022.33 points, and had gone as high as 1,024.05, the highest in 12 weeks.

The STOXX Europe 600 Banking Index rose 9.7 percent. - Reuters