European shares push higher on Chinese growth data
EUROPEAN shares rose on Monday with miners among the top gainers after data eased concerns about the pace of the economic slowdown in top commodities consumer China.
In early trade, the FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.7pc at 1,203.63.
The Chinese economy grew 7.5pc in the second quarter, as analysts polled by Reuters had forecast, though some in the market assumed the rate might have been lower following downbeat comments from the country's finance minister.
"Chinese data was in line, which was a relief," Jawaid Afsar, sales trader at SecurEquity, said.
European equities have rallied 8.1pc since June lows, supported by commitment to ongoing stimulus from central banks, particularly in Europe.
Funds invested in European shares recorded their biggest weekly inflows in more than a year in the week to July 10, according to EPFR data.
Afsar said he expected more gains but that it was too early to buy back into the mining sector, which rose 1.2pc on Monday.
In a note, JP Morgan strategist Mislav Matejka advised adding to European equity weighting saying stocks and reiterated its call to add risk and increase beta in portfolios.
Swedish banking group SEB topped the list of early risers, gaining 4.3pc after its second quarter operating profits beat expectations.
German lender Commerzbank rallied 3.5pc on a weekend media report that Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has spoken to UBS about the possibility of the Swiss bank buying the government's remaining stake.
Merger activity helped boost technology stocks with Invensys up 1.2pc on reports General Electric may lodge a $5.3bn, bid that could trigger a battle for the British software company with France's Schneider Electric.
British security firm G4S fell 2.4 percent after saying it held talks with large investors about tapping them for cash.