European shares edge higher, miners advance
LONDON Oct 3 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher in early trading on Thursday after declines in the previous session, with strong economic data from China offsetting concerns about the impact of a prolonged U.S. government shutdown.
Expectations that some recent disappointing economic numbers would force the U.S. Federal Reserve to keep its policies loose for longer were also seen underpinning the market.
However, investor mood remained relatively cautious given the likely impact of the shutdown on talks to raise the U.S. debt ceiling by mid-October, with analysts saying failure to do this would push the world's biggest economy into default and hurt the pace of economic recovery.
Activity in services sector in China, the world's biggest metals consumer, expanded at the fastest pace in six months in September as demand grew. The official purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the non-manufacturing sector rose to 55.4, the highest reading since March.
Miners were the top sectoral gainers, with the STOXX Europe 600 basic resources index gaining 0.6 percent, helping the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index to advance 0.3 percent to 1,250.5 points by 0705 GMT. The index fell 0.7 percent in the previous session.
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