* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 percent
* Miners boosted by Chinese imports data
* Vedanta firms after solid production figures
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, April 10 European shares advanced on
Wednesday as Chinese trade data boosted miners on hopes for
improving demand and with technical analysts anticipating the
market to remain buoyant near-term.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.7 percent at 1,172.88
by 0804 GMT, tracking gains on Wall Street where the Dow Jones
industrial average closed at a record high on Tuesday.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 was 0.9
percent firmer at 2,619.17.
"I can't see Europe breaking aggressively lower while U.S.
equity markets are holding up," Barclays Capital analyst Lynnden
"Once the U.S. equities start to turn, I think we will start
to see the European equities start to break down a little bit,"
he said, noting that should the Euro STOXX 50 breach range lows
at 2,563, it could drop to a late November low of 2,522.
Mining stocks found favour, boosted by Chinese trade data
which suggested domestic demand from the world's top metals
consumer was gathering pace.
The Chinese data partly mitigated the subdued mood that has
capped European equity markets in the past week, as three
separate U.S. jobs reports came in worse than expected, cooling
optimism about the health of the world's largest economy.
Solid production figures from Vedanta Resources also
helped sentiment, with the stock gaining 2.7 percent
The miners added to sharp gains seen on Tuesday in the wake
of forecast-beating earnings from U.S. aluminium group Alcoa
along with benign inflation data from China which fuelled
expectations that its monetary stimulus would stay in place.
Atif Latif, director of trading at Guardian Stockbrokers,
has started to move back into the sector, pointing out that
current prices do not reflect stronger demand from China.
Miners have slid almost 12 percent in 2013 on
concerns over falling demand, with its 12-month forward
price/earnings ratio at 11.04 times against the STOXX 600 on
12.29 times, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Other investors, however, were more bearish.
"The mining sector remains at risk of over-investment with
many new mines coming online in the near future and I fear the
bottom has not been reached yet," said Lex van Dam, hedge fund
manager at Hampstead Capital, which manages around $500 million
Changes in analyst recommendations were behind a number of
movers on Wednesday.
An upgrade by Exane analysts to "outperform" help to lift
French defence electronics group Thales 2.8 percent,
reversing a recent slide.
And British carrier easyJet jumped 3.8 percent after
Citi lifted its rating on the stock to "buy", according to
traders, citing sustainably-positive free cash flow generation.