European shares recover, led by mining stocks
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 percent
* Miners recover after Thursday's drop
* Futures and options expiries could cause volatility
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - European shares rose early on Friday, led by miners, with trading likely to be volatile during the day given stock futures and options expiries.
"It is all about options expiry today," said Lex van Dam, hedge fund manager at Hampstead Capital, which manages around $500 million of assets.
"Volatility has been crushed recently and optimism increased dramatically as has the market. The main thing to look at today is if the market can actually sustain these levels after expiry as well. That will tell us a lot."
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.4 percent at 1,119.57 by 0821 GMT, having dipped 0.1 percent on Thursday.
Basic resources were in demand, recovering some of their poise after sharp falls in the previous session on the back of weak manufacturing data out of China, the world's top consumer of metals.
Investors remain hopeful that there will be further moves from China's central bank to boost the world's second-biggest economy.
The FTSEurofirst 300 has surged more than 9 percent over the past two months, boosted by the European Central Bank's plan to buy sovereign bonds to lower the borrowing costs of debt-stricken euro zone countries, as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve's bold stimulus measures.
"Central banks are clearly on board ... a lot of money will be flooding into the markets and that will clearly support things ... For me the trend is up at the moment and every dip is a buying opportunity," Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels, said.
The benchmark Spanish IBEX rose 0.6 percent. Sources have told Reuters the country is considering freezing pensions and speeding up a planned rise in the retirement age as it races to cut spending and meet conditions of an expected international sovereign aid package.
Among individual movers, publishing group Pearson saw solid gains, climbing 1.6 percent, with traders citing an upgrade to "outperform" from "neutral" by Exane BNP Paribas, which raised its earnings estimates.
The bank, citing opportunities in international education, U.S. schools and digital learning, said it expected "the projected improvement in the 2013 outlook to begin to materialise in the next quarters and see (industry-specific reasons) as a key catalyst".
Trading volume in Pearson stood at 24 percent of the 90-day daily average, against the FTSEurofirst 300 on 17 percent.
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