European shares recover as BES and miners bounce back

Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:32pm EDT

* FTSEurofirst 300 ends up 1.3 pct at 1,376.32 points

* Airbus falls as Qatar Airways seeks compensation

* BES rebounds after it hit record lows Tuesday

* Mining stocks buoyed by Chinese economic growth

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters) - European equity markets recovered on Wednesday from losses in the previous session as a rebound in Banco Espirito Santo and in mining stocks lifted the region's bourses.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had slipped 0.4 percent on Tuesday, closed up 1.3 percent at 1,376.32 points. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 1.6 percent to 3,202.94 points.

Banco Espirito Santo (BES) rose nearly 20 percent, after hitting record lows on Tuesday, enabling Lisbon's benchmark PSI-20 index to advance by 3.1 percent.

Traders said that even though BES remained dogged by the fact that a holding company of the bank's founding family had failed to repay a $1 billion loan, some investors were now starting to think the stock represented a relative bargain.

They added that BES was also benefiting from an extension to a ban on short-selling on its shares - or betting on future falls in a share price - and from expectations among investors that it could raise more capital if necessary.

"It's a storm in a teacup. It's something that is specific to Portugal, rather than having broader repercussions across the euro zone," said Terry Torrison, managing director at Monaco-based McLaren Securities.

AIRBUS DIPS LOWER

Shares in planemaker Airbus fell 2.5 percent, which traders attributed to Qatar Airways' decision to seek compensation from Airbus for delays in delivery of three of the European planemaker's A380 superjumbos.

However, mining stocks rallied after Chinese economic growth data slightly beat expectations, hinting at resilient demand in the world's largest metals-consuming country.

The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources Index - which houses mining companies - rose 2.8 percent, beating a 1.3 percent rise on the broader, pan-European STOXX 600 index .

China, the world's second-largest economy, grew 7.5 percent in April-June from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday, just ahead of a median forecast of 7.4 percent in a Reuters poll.

"There's a close correlation between Chinese industrial production and the mining sector, so this pick-up is encouraging," said Coutts global equity strategist James Butterfill.

The FTSEurofirst 300 is still up around 3 percent since the start of 2014, while the Euro STOXX 50 is up around 2 percent.

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

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

Today's European research round-up (Additional reporting by Andrei Khalip and Alistair Smout; Editing by Mark Heinrich)