Miners help prop up European shares after China GDP data

Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:05am EDT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 2.64 points at 1,198.09

* China GDP data boost miners

* Commerzbank rallies on talk of stake sale

By David Brett

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Monday after Chinese GDP data assuaged fears of a sharp slowdown that could hit global growth, and technical indicators pointed to further upside.

By 1018 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 had risen 2.64 points, or 0.2 percent to 1,198.09.

Miners rose 0.5 percent after data showed China's economy grew 7.5 percent in the second quarter, in line with forecasts and better than some investors had feared, although it was the ninth slowdown in the last 10 quarters.

"While (Q2 GDP) is still below the 8 percent that at one point was considered the minimum acceptable growth rate, it would indicate a stabilisation in the economy that could provide some support for the equity market," J.P. Morgan Asset Management Global Market Strategist Dan Morris said in a note.

European equities extended a recovery which has seen the euro zone's blue chip index rally 6.7 percent from lows in June, underpinned by central banks' continued commitment to monetary stimulus, especially in Europe.

Funds invested in European shares recorded their biggest weekly inflows in more than a year in the week to July 10, according to EPFR data.

Steve Ruffley, chief market strategist for spreadbetting and CFD provider InterTrader, said the Stoxx 50 has found support around 2,662 and is now looking to test the upper daily Bollinger band and key resistance at 2,746.

"From a technical perspective, the markets look to be pushing higher, and are being driven by the fundamental words from (Federal Reserve chairman) Ben Bernanke. Unless this week's data hold surprises, the bulls are back in town," he said.

German lender Commerzbank rallied 3.9 percent on a weekend media report that Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has spoken to UBS about the possibility of the Swiss bank buying the government's remaining stake.

Frankfurt's DAX index was around 50 points off its intraday high at around 8,227.

Swedish banking group SEB gained 3 percent after its second quarter operating profits beat expectations.

Merger activity helped boost technology stocks with Invensys up 0.4 percent on reports General Electric may lodge a $5.3 billion bid that could trigger a battle for the British software company with France's Schneider Electric.