Miners, Fed help push Europe shares higher
LONDON Feb 21 (Reuters) - European shares extended gains on Thursday, led by a rally in miners and helped by Nestle (NESN.VX) results while investors took heart from Federal Reserve minutes overnight.
At 1134 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 was up 1.6 percent at 1,342.7 points, as U.S. futures ticked higher, after the minutes from the Fed's latest meeting reinforced the view that the central bank could continue to cut rates to bolster economic growth.
Nestle shares rose 6 percent after the world's largest food company posted a 15.8 percent leap in 2007 net profit, defying record prices for ingredients such as milk and cocoa.
Miners were among the biggest gaining sectors by mid-morning, rising along with metal prices. Kazakhmys (KAZ.L), Anglo American (AAL.L) and Antofagasta (ANTO.L) were up between 4.3 and 5.5 percent.
Banks also recovered some ground after taking a beating on almost daily news of new writedowns recently. BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) rose 3.1 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L)was up 3.8 percent.
Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) eased 0.2 percent as it confirmed a record fourth-quarter loss after absorbing a huge trading scandal that has made it a potential takeover target.
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