European shares extend two-week rally, tracking Asia

lunes 17 de febrero de 2014 05:18 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 gains 0.2 pct, up 5 pct in 2 weeks

* Italian shares steady as Renzi set to meet Napolitano

* Europe equity funds see $17 bln in inflows year-to-date -EPFR

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Feb 17 (Reuters) - European stocks inched higher in early trade on Monday, extending a two-week rally and tracking gains in Asia as worries over emerging markets eased.

Shares in cyclical mining shares - which have a strong exposure to emerging markets such as China - featured among the top gainers, with BHP Billiton and Glencore Xstrata up 1.2-1.3 percent.

At 0906 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,334.44 points. The benchmark index, which has surged 5 percent over the past two weeks, is less then 2 percent below a 5-1/2 year high hit in January.

Trading volumes were expected to be thin as Wall Street will be closed for a public holiday.

Italian shares were steady, with Milan's FTSE MIB up 0.03 percent. The index strongly outperformed on Friday, with a 1.6 percent rally, as investors welcomed the likelihood of centre-left leader Matteo Renzi becoming prime minister.   Continuación...