Europe shares hit 4-week high as banks, miners rise

* FTSEurofirst 300 index up 1 pct, up for 4th straight day

* Axa climbs after confirms UK sale talks

* Banks, miners gain on global recovery optimism

* For up-to-the minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]
By Joanne Frearson

LONDON, June 14 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares rose on Monday
for the fourth consecutive session, hitting a four-week high on
growing investor confidence over the global economic recovery,
with banks and miners rising on the positive sentiment.

Comments from Greece’s prime minister late on Friday also
helped soothe worries over Europe’s debt crisis.

George Papandreou told a meeting of top bankers his
government made a conscious decision against default and against
leaving the euro, a decision that made “good economic sense” and
repeated a pledge that the country would pay its dues.

By 0845 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: )
index of top shares was up 1 percent at 1,029.31 points after
touching a four-week high of 1,029.94.

But the index of top European shares is still down 7.6
percent since mid-April, when fears that Greece’s debt crisis
could spread to other euro zone countries and undermine the
global economic recovery intensified.

Banks extended last week’s gains, with UniCredit (CRDI.MI: ),
BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: ) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: ) up 1.6 to
2.8 percent.

“I think what is helping the market is the notion that a
double dip recession is not a big risk,” said Bernard McAlinden,
investment strategist at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin.

“Markets have reached a point where they have discounted
enough about the euro zone debt crisis. They have exhausted
their bearish inclinations and are reacting more positively to

Miners rose on the more positive sentiment, with stronger
copper prices also providing support. Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ), BHP
Billiton (BLT.L: ) and Anglo American (AAL.L: ) rose 1.8 to 2.2

Oil giant BP (BP.L: ) trimmed the sharp gains made on Friday
and fell 4 percent. The stock is down about 43 percent since its
oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico started in mid-April.

Investors are awaiting the outcome of a board meeting on
Monday to discuss whether the company will cut or defer its
second-quarter dividend payment.

This week U.S. president Barack Obama gives his first
national address on the disaster and will press BP executives to
set up an escrow account to pay damage claims by individuals and
businesses hurt by the oil spill disaster.


Insurers were also in demand, with France’s AXA (AXAF.PA: ) up
3.7 percent after saying it is in talks to sell its UK life
operations to Resolution (RSL.L: ).

Alstom (ALSO.PA: ) climbed more than 4.1 percent after broker
Merrill Lynch published a bullish note on the stock, adding the
French train maker to its ‘Europe 1’ list.

Club Med (CMIP.PA: ) gained 8 percent following the
acquisition by China’s Fosun group (0656.HK: ) of a 7.1 percent
stake in the French holiday resort company.

Italy’s Fiat (FIA.MI: ) rose 2.8 percent on expectations the
car maker will reach a full agreement with trade unions to save
its Naples plant.

Across Europe, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index was up 0.5
percent, Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: ) was 1 percent higher and
France’s CAC 40 (.FCHI: ) gained 1.1 percent.

The Thomson Reuters Peripheral Eurozone Countries Index
(.TRXFLDPIPU: ) rose 2 percent.

Stock Market

(Reporting by Joanne Frearson; Editing by Hans Peters)

Europe shares hit 4-week high as banks, miners rise