European shares rise as China data boosts equities
LONDON Feb 8 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday to recover from sharp falls in the previous session, as robust Chinese trade data boosted expectations that the global economy would strengthen and in turn maintain demand for equities.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.4 percent to 1,152.77 points, bouncing back from a 0.3 percent fall on Friday that sent it to its lowest close since Dec. 31.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.3 percent to 2,606.39 points.
Data showed Chinese exports grew 25 percent in January from a year earlier versus a forecast of 17 percent in a Reuters poll while imports climbed 28.8 percent, highlighting robust domestic demand.
Expectations of a gradual economic recovery has led many investors to step in to buy up shares on days when the market has fallen, preventing any major pull-back on equities.
"I think China is clearly moving in the right direction, and this should support the equity markets," said Cyrille Urfer, who heads up asset allocation at Swiss bank Gonet.
"We're in a 'risk-on' mode and continental Europe should continue to do well in this environment. We favour Europe (over) the UK," he added.
Media group Vivendi rose 2.4 percent after selling its Parlophone unit to Warner, while Norwegian bank DNB also rose for the second consecutive day after posting better-than-expected earnings earlier in the week.