Miners lift European shares; data boosts sentiment

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 percent

* Miners rise as metals prices rebound

* Concerns linger on peripheral euro zone debt situation

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

By Harpreet Bhal

LONDON, Nov 24 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares were higher at
midday on Wednesday, boosted by strong German business sentiment
data, though trading was choppy as concerns lingered over
Ireland’s debt crisis and political tension in Korea.

By 1155 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: )
index of top shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,081.95 points,
rebounding from a six-week closing low in the previous session.

Data showed German business sentiment rose in November to
its strongest level since 1991. [ID:nLDE6AN0KA]

“It points to the improving momentum that we are seeing in
the major economies. We are seeing momentum being regained again
in the stalwart of the euro zone, Germany and also in the UK,”
said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin.

Britain’s economy grew 0.8 percent in the third quarter,
boosted by net trade outflows, data showed [ID:nLDE6AN0TF]

“The underlying support for earnings growth is still very
solid and that is reflected in the sturdiness of these markets.”

Mining stocks gained ground following a sell-off in the
previous sessions, supported by firmer metal prices as the
dollar eased.

Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC.L: ), Kazakhmys (KAZ.L: ), BHP
Billiton (BLT.L: ) and Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) rose 0.9-2.4 percent.

Investors remained caution, however, as worries over the
euro zone’s debt situation lingered. Spanish and Portuguese bond
yields rose sharply on concerns Ireland’s debt troubles could
spread to other peripheral euro zone countries after ratings
agency Standard and Poor’s cut Ireland’s credit rating and
placed it on credit watch negative.

The Irish government was set to unveil a four-year austerity
plan on Wednesday aimed at cutting welfare spending and raising
taxes to help end its financial crisis. [ID:nLDE6AM25A]

“There are still a lot of questions surrounding the bailout
of Ireland and the budget on Dec. 7. The government is in a
limbo and we do not know if it will go through,” said Franz
Wenzel, strategist at AXA Investment Managers in Paris.

Bank of Ireland (BKIR.I: ) shares slumped 24 percent, while
Spanish lender Banco Santander (SAN.MC: ) shed 0.8 percent and
Portuguese group Banco Espirito Santo (BES.LS: ) lost 0.4 percent.

POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY

Political tension in the Korean peninsula added to jitters
in the market after the North Korea’s official KCNA news agency
said South Korea’s actions were “driving the situation to the
brink of war”.

On Tuesday. North Korea fired dozens of shells on a South
Korean island, prompting a U.S. aircraft carrier group to set
off to join exercises with South Korea from Sunday.

“The market has concerns over the ongoing situation in
Korea,” Wenzel said.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Risks to watch on the Korean peninsula [ID:nRISKKR]

Europe debt problems [ID:nLDE68T0MG]

Euro zone debt struggle: http://r.reuters.com/hyb65p

Multimedia on euro zone crisis: http://r.reuters.com/hus75h
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

Among individual movers, British company Compass (CPG.L: )
gained 3.5 percent after full-year profit beat forecasts and the
world’s biggest contract caterer raised its dividend.

On the downside, SAP (SAPG.DE: ) fell 1.2 percent following a
$1.3 billion fine for the German company for downloading rival
Oracle’s (ORCL.O: ) software. [ID:nLDE6AN0I8]

Across Europe, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ), Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: )
and France’s CAC 40 (.FCHI: ) were up 0.3-1.2 percent.
(Additional reporting by Joanne Frearson; Editing by Dan Lalor)

Miners lift European shares; data boosts sentiment