* FTSEurofirst 300 index rises 0.4 percent
* Cyclical shares rally on results, China data
* Societe Generale surges 7 pct as profits double
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Aug 1 European cyclical equities,
especially miners and banks, rose on Thursday on the back of
encouraging Chinese manufacturing data, some strong earnings and
the U.S. Federal Reserve's indication of no immediate cut in
The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index climbed 1
percent to feature among the top gainers after a report showed
growth in the manufacturing sector in China, the world's biggest
metals consumer, picked up slightly last month.
"Encouraging China data, which came after the government
recently set a floor for economic growth, is positive for the
mining sector and could improve confidence and investment in the
country," said Tom Robertson, senior trader at Accendo Markets.
"The Fed's confirmation of what was being anticipated by the
market has also eased some nerves," he said, referring to the
U.S. central bank that showed no signs late on Wednesday of
cutting the economic stimulus that has broadly helped miners.
Despite the relatively upbeat official Chinese PMI data, a
rival report from HSBC was much more gloomy, showing activity in
the world's second biggest economy fell to its lowest level in
nearly a year.
European banks, up 1 percent, advanced on positive
corporate news. Societe Generale jumped 7 percent
after its second-quarter earnings more than
Denmark's biggest financial institution, Danske Bank
, was up 6.2 percent after reporting a
stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings report, while
Lloyds rose 6 percent as it expected to meet margins
and cost savings targets earlier than expected.
"Lloyds has blown away some investment cobwebs as it posted
a set of numbers which have beaten expectations on most counts.
The company continues to target cost reductions and the sale of
non-core assets, whilst also improving operating interest
margins and general impairment provisions," said Richard Hunter,
head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.
MIXED EARNINGS RESULTS
Thursday's earnings results were mixed, with some major
companies disappointing. Issues such as rising costs and a surge
in oil thefts in Nigeria hit Royal Dutch Shell's
profits, dragging down its shares by 4.2 percent.
Temporary power provider Aggreko fell 6.8 percent
after saying that trading at its power projects business was
subdued in the six months to June 30.
According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, half of the
STOXX Europe 600 companies have reported second-quarter
results so far, of which 54 percent have met or beaten profit
forecasts, while the rest have missed.
At 0824 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index was 0.4
percent higher at 1,213.07 points. The index was on track to
record its best monthly gain since June 2012, having bounced
nearly 10 percent from a low of 1,111.11 in late June.
Investors awaited policy meetings of the European Central
Bank and the Bank of England later in the day for hints about
their stimulus programmes. However, the central banks are
expected to keep rates intact.