German data helps Europe shares extend 2-week rally

jueves 21 de agosto de 2014 10:26 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 pct, back at late July levels

* Forecast-beating German PMI eclipses recent soft patch

* Raiffeisen Bank jumps on reassuring comments on Russia

* Miners knocked lower by Chinese macro data

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Aug 21 (Reuters) - European stocks rose on Thursday, extending their sharp two-week rebound, boosted by better-than-expected German private sector growth figures which reassured investors about the outlook for Europe's biggest economy following a soft patch.

At 1400 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,353.12 points, reaching a level not seen since late July.

Markit's flash composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for Germany -- which tracks growth in the manufacturing and service sectors that make up more than two-thirds of the economy -- came at 54.9 for August, down from 55.7 in July but still well above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

Last week, GDP data showed Germany's economy suffered a surprise contraction -- its first in more than a year -- in the second quarter.   Continuación...