* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.8 pct, highest close since June 2008
* Luxury goods, miners rise after China GDP
* Accor leads travel and leisure sector higher
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Oct 18 European shares rose to a
five-year high on Friday after robust growth data from China
boosted luxury goods and mining stocks, while good results from
Accor helped raise the travel and leisure sector.
The Chinese economy grew 7.8 percent year-on-year in the
third quarter as forecast by analysts, although authorities
warned of slowing momentum in the fourth quarter.
The personal and household goods sector - which
includes luxury goods firms such as Burberry and LVMH
, both under pressure recently after warning of slowing
sales in China - was a top gainer, up 1.9 percent.
Miners, sensitive to demand levels from China's
manufacturing sector, rose 0.5 percent but remain under
longer-term pressure from earnings concerns highlighted by a
weak update for Anglo American.
"China has had a bit of a rebound... and the rest of the
emerging market space hasn't rebounded like China, so it's not
surprising we're seeing a bounce on that," said Robert Quinn,
chief European equity strategist at Standard & Poor's Capital
The Stoxx Europe 600 index was up for a seventh
successive day, its longest winning streak this year, boosted by
China but also by hopes that recent political turmoil may mean
the United States keeps monetary policy easy for longer.
"We are quite positive because (the U.S. budget standoff) is
just postponing the end of quantitative easing (which has been
among the main drivers of equities over the past 2 years)," said
Claudia Panseri, global equity strategist at Societe Generale
Many investors believe the extended government shutdown and
political wrangling over the budget and debt in the United
States will prompt the Federal Reserve to keep stimulus for the
economy in place and help equities markets.
"I am expecting a good run to the end of the year now,
especially with the risk from U.S. debt and government shutdown
out of the way until January 2014," said Ed Woolfitt, trader at
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 0.8
percent at 1,277.70, at its highest point since June 2008.
Joining the household goods sector among top gainers was the
travel and leisure sector, also up 2 percent, led higher
by a 4 percent rise in Accor after the French hotel
chain delivered better-than-expected sales and a confident
Strong earnings also lifted Swedish hygiene and paper
products maker SCA to the top of the list of European
risers, gaining 6.9 percent.