Investors are hoping European leaders will make progress towards adopting a comprehensive plan to help ease the region's debt crisis at summit on Sunday, but France and Germany said no decision will be made until a second meeting on Wednesday.
Banking stocks, sensitive to the outcome of the debt-crisis due to their exposure to sovereign debt, were among the best performers, with the STOXX Europe 600 Banks index rising 1.4 per cent.
"Positive reaction from the market this morning on the hope something will be done at the meetings, but if nothing is resolved soon we will be quickly back down again," Manoj Ladwa, senior trader at ETX Capital, said.
He added that most of the investment he was seeing was by short-term investors, getting in and out of the market on the newsflow, rather than long-term fund managers as there were too many uncertainties ahead.
By 07:04 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was up 0.5 per cent at 959.29 points after falling 1.4 per cent in the previous session on doubts about whether Sunday's summit would go ahead.