European shares up on China infrastructure spending plans

LONDON, March 28 Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:12am EDT

LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - European equities edged higher on Friday, led by basic resources shares on expectations any move by China to step up infrastructure spending would boost demand for industrial metals.

Recent weaker-than-expected data, which has dimmed the outlook for the world's second-largest economy, prompted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to say that Beijing was ready to support the cooling economy and would push ahead with infrastructure investment.

In reaction, the STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources Index , which has fallen about 12 percent this year, rose 1.3 percent to top the gainers' list in Europe. Global diversified miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton were up 1.4 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

The FTSEurofirst 300 of top European shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,327.36 points by 0805 GMT. However, the index was on track to end the month in negative territory after recent sell-offs on Chinese growth concerns and geopolitical tension in Ukraine. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Simon Jessop)

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