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Miners, energy stocks give European shares another leg up

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Miners, energy stocks give European shares another leg up

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LONDON (Reuters) – Basic resources and energy stocks helped European benchmarks build on the previous week’s robust gains on Monday, as commodity prices climbed. The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> index rose 0.1 percent in early trading, having enjoyed its best day in three weeks on Friday as the euro fell. Euro zone stocks and blue-chips <.STOXX50E> gained 0.1 percent, while German and British stocks climbed 0.2 percent. Mining firms <.SXPP> provided the foundation for benchmark gains, up 1.3 percent as copper and iron ore prices climbed. [MET/L] ArcelorMittal <MT.AS>, BHP Billiton <BLT.L>, Anglo American <AAL.L> and Glencore <GLEN.L> were among top European gainers, up 1.7 to 2.7 percent. Gains in crude prices helped push oil stocks <.SXEP> to a six-week high. Of the MSCI Europe companies that have reported, 61 percent overall have either met or beaten expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. Energy stocks have seen the strongest results so far, with 82 percent beating analyst estimates, while only 41 percent of industrials firms have beaten expectations. Banco BPM <BAMI.MI> jumped 3.2 percent, outperforming a lacklustre banking index <.SX7P>, after the Italian lender agreed the sale of its asset manager to Anima for $1.3 billion. Some large losses kept gains modest, however. PostNL <PTNL.AS> shares were the worst-performing, down 6.6 percent after the Dutch postal company said its full-year profits would come in at the lower end of expectations due to regulatory changes. Shares in gambling firm Paddy Power Betfair <PPB.I> fell 5.6 percent, on track for their worst day in more than a year, after saying CEO Breon Corcoran would step down, though the company also named a new CEO to succeed him. Deals continued apace in the European equity space, with Fresenius Medical Care <FREG.DE> agreeing to acquire NxStage <NXTM.O> for $2 billion in cash. Fresenius shares fell 0.4 percent on the news, however.

(Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Catherine Evans)
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