Autos, miners help European shares finish higher
* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 gains for 2nd day
* Automobile stocks rise on positive Kepler note
* Monte dei Paschi surges on report of rescue plan
By Atul Prakash and Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - European equities extended gains on Monday, with auto shares propelled by a positive outlook for the sector and miners helped by a steadying of copper prices below four-month highs.
The European mining index rose 1.8 percent, the top gainer in the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index after data from China at the weekend and comments by a regulator soothed worries over both the health of the world's second-biggest economy and the outlook for metals demand.
However, Nomura analysts remained cautious on the sector, saying that although miners were taking the right steps to reposition their business models for the current downturn, their initiatives did not justify the rebound for the sector.
The STOXX Europe 600 Automobiles and Parts index rose 1.6 percent following a positive note from Kepler Cheuvreux, which upgraded its stance on companies such as Daimler, Peugeot, BMW and Continental.
"Demand so far this year has been better than expected in Europe, while volumes in the U.S. and China continue to hold up well. FY 2015 results have also been strong overall, resulting in positive relative earnings momentum for the sector and taking valuation multiples down sharply," they said. Continuación...