Miners lead European shares up on China, Alcoa boost

LONDON, April 9 Tue Apr 9, 2013 3:13am EDT

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - European shares were led up by miners on Tuesday, as investors hoped for more accommodative monetary policy from China after it reported benign inflation data and U.S. firm Alcoa posted solid earnings.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 5.51 points, or 0.5 percent, at 1,170.30 by 0706 GMT.

The index has found support around its 38.2 percent retracement level of 1,154, which it struck after three days of declines last week on the back of rising euro zone debt tensions and weak U.S. jobs data.

The beaten-down mining sector rose 1.9 percent after no.1 metals consumer China reported lower-than-expected inflation data, fuelling expectations that its monetary stimulus would stay in place and help support economic growth, improving the outlook for demand in the sector.

Also helping was U.S. aluminium group Alcoa, viewed as a bellwether for the materials sector, which posted better-than-expected first-quarter profit.

With the economic news flow light in the coming days and growth anemic in Europe, the U.S. earnings season is likely to have a bearing on sentiment as investors await evidence that earnings can be support the market at these levels.

"With expectations once again lowered it may not be too difficult (to see) these earnings beating expectations," Jawaid Afsar, sales trader at SecurEquity, said.

"However, we will need to see what companies have to say about the outlook," he said.

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