April 5, 2017 / 7:30 AM / 3 years ago

Oil stocks, miners push European shares higher

LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) - European shares gained slightly on Wednesday as higher oil prices and deals boosted energy stocks, with investors cheering improved synergies from an oil services takeover.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent by 0720 GMT.

Oil & gas stocks were the second best sectoral gainers, up 1 percent, while basic resources gained 1.3 percent. Crude prices rose to a near one-month high on signs of a gradual tightening in global oil inventories.

Oil services groups Wood Group and Amec Foster Wheeler were the top European gainers, up 3 and 2.7 percent respectively, after Wood Group said it expected about 36 percent more cost savings from its deal to buy Amec for 2.2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion).

British miner BHP Billiton was also a top gainer, up 2.9 percent after it became the fourth miner to declare force majeure on Australian coal mines disrupted by Cyclone Debbie, pushing up coking coal futures.

Outdoor advertising company JCDecaux was among the biggest fallers, down 3.6 percent after JP Morgan cut its shares to ‘neutral’ from ‘overweight’, saying contract losses such as the Velib Paris bicycles contract, and a slow recovery to profitability for major contracts suggested limited earnings upside.

Autos stocks were again the worst-performing sector, down 0.5 percent.

Finnish utility Fortum and Swedish engineering company Skanska were top fallers after going ex-dividend.

Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Kit Rees

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