European shares buoyed after miners receive China boost

Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:04am EDT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.56 percent at 1365.93

EDINBURGH, July 16 (Reuters) - European shares gained in early deals on Wednesday, buoyed by strength in miners after Chinese growth slightly beat expectations, hinting at resilient demand in the world's largest metals consumer.

The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index rose 0.7 percent, a top sectoral performer, after the world's second-largest economy posted quarterly growth of 7.5 percent from a year earlier, just ahead of a median forecast of 7.4 percent in a Reuters poll.

"It confirms the trend we've seen from improving PMI data, and is in line with the idea of a pick-up in the global economy," said James Butterfill, global equity strategist at Coutts.

"There's a close correlation between Chinese industrial production and the mining sector, so this pick-up is encouraging."

Global miner Rio Tinto rose 1.6 percent after reporting a sharp rise in iron ore output as it steps up shipments to Chinese steel mills.

Rio is a top pick for analysts at Citi, who wrote in a note to clients that recent Chinese economic data showed signs of a broad stabilisation.

Dutch blue chip toolmaker ASML, down 1 percent, and Swedish telecoms firm Tele2, down 1.1 percent, both reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings but had a cautious tone for their full-year outlook statements.

Analysts at Espirito Santo said that "uncertainty remains high" for Tele2.

"The core business in Sweden is performing relatively well but the path to positive cash flow generation in Kazakhstan and the Netherlands remains challenging."

Analysts have revised down their 2014 forecasts for earnings by 2.3 percent over the last 30 days, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.

The data also showed that the most accurate analysts expect STOXX Europe 600 companies to miss consensus estimates for quarterly earnings by 1.3 percent this earnings season.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 rose 0.56 percent to 1365.93, more than recouping the previous session's losses.

Stocks fell on Tuesday after declining investor morale hit Germany's benchmark DAX equity index and worries over Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo weakened the Lisbon market.

Shares in Banco Espirito Santo rose 5.5 percent on Wednesday, rebounding after a 14.6 percent drop in the previous session, with traders pointing to the extension of a short-selling restriction on the shares of the Portuguese lender and hopes that it can raise more capital if necessary.

Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today's European research round-up

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