* FTSEurofirst 300 index climbs 0.2 percent
* Chinese factory activity lifts miners
* Strong PMIs help Spain but France weak
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, June 2 European shares started the month
positively on Monday, buoyed by upbeat economic data from China
that helped to allay worries about growth rates there.
Basic resources stocks, including miners and other
commodity companies, rose 1.5 percent, one of the biggest
sectoral gainers, after data showed Chinese factory activity
expanded at its fastest pace in five months in May.
Miners, acutely sensitive to the health of the Chinese
economy since it is the top metals consumer, had fallen on
Friday on concern over China - which, alongside lacklustre
growth globally, has deterred recent investment into the sector.
Miners have risen less than 2 percent this year, against a
5.1 percent advance for the STOXX Europe 600. Mining
giant Rio Tinto is languishing around 2014 lows while
the broader index is trading at its peak for the year.
The sector might have seen a burst higher on Monday, but
these gains could prove short-lived.
"I would say at this level it is a trading (relatively
short-term) buy," Paul Kavanagh, partner at Killik & Co., said.
"The type of investor that you'll find at this point in the
cycle tends to be more of a speculator who will find a bottom on
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up
0.2 percent at 1,380.46 points.
France's CAC index underperformed the broader
market, dipping 0.1 percent, as data showed French manufacturing
contracted again in May, having recorded its first two months of
growth since 2011 in March and April.
Spain's blue-chip IBEX gained 0.3 percent after its
manufacturing sector expanded at the fastest rate since April
Germany's DAX firmed 0.1 percent, or 6.85 points,
to 9,950.12, within touching distance of breaking the 10,000
mark for the first time.
Whether it will be able to pass this barrier is linked to
whether expectations of stimulus from the European Central Bank
later in the week are delivered on, analysts said.
"The ECB meeting on Thursday ... has already given the
markets some solid impulses during the previous weeks when
investors had growing hope on a more expansive approach," Roger
Peeters, who runs Close Brothers Seydler Research, said in a
"The wording on the further goings-on will be critical for
the development in the markets during the next months."
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 Alistair Smout; Editing by Susan