Europe shares hit two-week high, oils snap losses

* FTSEurofirst 300 index up 1.8 pct; hits 2-wk high

* Euro zone PMI grows at fastest pace since August 2007

* Oil majors rebound; BP shrugs off Fitch downgrade

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

By Harpreet Bhal

LONDON, June 3 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares rose to a
two-week high on Thursday as positive data from the euro zone’s
services sector soothed investors’ worries about the region,
while they awaited a raft of U.S. macro data.

Economy-sensitive miners Eurasian (ENRC.L: ) and Kazakhmys
(KAZ.L: ) gained more than 4 percent, helping spur the
pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top shares up
1.8 percent to 1,021.86 points by 1105 GMT.

The index touched a two-week intraday high of 1,025.41

However the index is still down around 8 percent since
mid-April, when fears of a sovereign debt crisis in the euro
zone prompted investors to abandon riskier assets, but a spate
of buying in beaten-down stocks has put the market on track to
post its second straight weekly gain.

“For a lot of the (equity) indices we’re probably at
intermediate resistance levels at the moment,” said David
Morrison, market strategist at GFT Global.

“It really will be a question of how we fare over today and
tomorrow and if we can get some positive closes then maybe
things are going to be looking a bit brighter.”

Air France (AIRF.PA: ) ranked among Europe’s top gainers, up
7.2 percent after reporting a “marked” recovery in traffic.

The Markit Eurozone Services Purchasing Managers’ Index
(PMI) grew in May at its fastest pace since August 2007 and also
showed an end to an almost two-year stretch of job losses among
services companies. [ID:nSLA2HE66K]


Also lifting investors’ mood, U.S. President Barack Obama
said on Wednesday he believed the May employment report, due on
Friday, would show strong growth in U.S. payrolls.

Oil majors rebounded from four sessions of losses, helped by
a 2 percent rise in crude prices (CLc1: ) after a report showed a
drop in U.S. crude inventories and robust economic indicators
fuelled optimism over the demand for energy.

BG (BG.L: ), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ), Total (TOTF.PA: ) and
ENI (ENI.MI: ) rose 1 to 2.7 percent.

BP (BP.L: ) rose 3.6 percent, shrugging off a ratings
downgrade by Fitch to ‘AA’ from ‘AA+’ [ID:nWLA5540]. The oil
major, whose stock is still down 32 percent since the oil spill
in the Gulf of Mexico started six weeks ago, is making a further
attempt to control the flow. [ID:nN03207991]

Banks also rebounded from weakness in the previous session,
with Barclays (BARC.L: ), HSBC (HSBA.L: ), Societe Generale
(SOGN.PA: ), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: ) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: ) up
0.4 to 2.2 percent.

Later in the session, investors will watch the U.S. May ADP
national employment survey, due at 1215 GMT, and the latest U.S.
weekly jobless claims, due at 1230 GMT, ahead of Friday’s May
U.S. non-farm payrolls data.

The keenly anticipated non-farm payrolls figures are
forecast to show payrolls rose by 513,000 in May after climbing
290,000 in April.

Dutch grocer Ahold (AHLN.AS: ) fell 1.2 percent after saying
consumers were still subdued despite signs of a broader economic
recovery. [ID:nLDE6510S2]

Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ), Germany’s DAX
(.GDAXI: ) and France’s CAC 40 (.FCHI: ) rose 1.7 to 2.3 percent.

Stock Market Trading

(Editing by David Holmes)

Europe shares hit two-week high, oils snap losses