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Miners lead rebound in European shares after upbeat China data

David Brett
Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 | 4:10 AM ET

* FTSEurofirst 300 rises 4.7 points to 1,284.96

* Miners rally after China PMI beats expectations

* Autos led higher by Daimler after Q3 results

* Nordic banks, WPP and ABB get results boost

* Ericsson leads losers on earnings worries

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Miners led a rebound in European shares early on Thursday driven by better-than-expected manufacturing data from China, the world's largest consumer of raw materials.

Mining shares rose 0.9 percent after the flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for China hit a seven-month high.

"The world's second-largest economy picking up steam is certainly good news for the mining sector, and it looks like the recent (broader market) rally will continue until the year-end," Mark Ward, head of trading at Sanlam Securities, said.

Societe Generale analysts, however, sounded a cautious note on the outlook in China arguing that with growth stabilising after a slowdown policymakers seem to be shifting their focus back to risk management.

"The leadership still intends to delever the economy, which is the main reason behind our call that the secular deceleration trend is far from over," it said.

Kazakh miner Kazakhmys was a strong performer, rising 4.5 percent after the company said it was on track to hit the "upper end" of its output guidance for 2013.

Liberum in a note said despite near-term obstacles it sees scope for upgrading Kazakhmys if efforts to improve its products and reduce higher-cost production are successful.

On the broader mining sector, UBS said in its commodity strategy that it saw upside risks to its house view and consensus on gold and silver in the year ahead.

Its preferred precious metals stocks boasted strong returns and good cost control and included London-listed Fresnillo . Among industrial miners, UBS has a strong preference for low-cost producers with the potential to raise cashflow sharply, namely Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

Gains among miners helped the FTSEurofirst 300 rebound 4.71 points, or 0.4 percent to 1,284.96 by 0730 GMT, after a 0.6 percent dip on Wednesday.

The index hovered around five-year highs while investors devoured another batch of corporate earnings as the quarterly results season got into full swing.

Auto-related stocks, which are heavily reliant on demand from China for growth, rose 1.3 percent with most of the gains coming from German car maker Daimler.

Daimler jumped 2.3 percent after its results for the three months through September beat forecasts and it announced full-year profit would meet market expectations.

Nordic banks DNB and SEB climbed as much as 5.9 percent after both reported forecast-beating quarterly results.

Swiss industrial group ABB and WPP, the world's largest advertising company, also rose 3.9 percent and 2 percent respectively, after results.

But after a strong start to the earnings season the percentage of companies beating or meeting analyst estimates has fallen to 53 percent from 63 percent earlier this week, according to Starmine data, which is roughly in line with the last three-quarters.

Mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson <ERICb.ST > led the technology sector lower, skidding 6.5 percent after third-quarter profit and sales missed consensus forecasts.

Dutch digital security services provider Gemalto shed 3.2 percent as its third-quarter sales disappointed investors.

A strong run of gains has seen the Stoxx 600 re-rate on a price-to-earnings of 13.29 times against a 10-year average of 12 times, according to Datastream, so focus is falling on corporate earnings which are under pressure to justify the re-rating.

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