The CAC40 in Paris was the standout gainer on Thursday with investors reassured there will be no major surprises in Sunday's presidential election.
Europe’s stock markets finished Thursday’s trading session slightly ahead – with Paris the standout.
The CAC40 index of top shares rose 1.48 percent, its biggest one-day gain in a month with banks BNP Paribas and Societe Generale among top gainers.
Investors are focused on politics as the latest opinion polls before the French presidential election reassured them that there was little chance of major shocks.
The first round of voting is on Sunday and the polls suggest they will result in far-right candidate Marine Le Pen against the centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second round runoff on May the seventh.
Those opinion polls then have Macron easily beating Le Pen, who is campaigning for France to leave the European Union and the euro.
Thursday saw the euro rise at one stage to a three-week high against the dollar with the single currency on track for its best week this year.