European shares set for best week in 1 month, miners up
* FTSEurofirst 300 index rises 0.3 percent
* Index heads for biggest weekly gain in 1 month
* Basic resources stocks extend Thursday's gains
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - European shares headed for their biggest weekly gain in a month on Friday, supported by a rally in basic resources stocks and some positive technical buying signals.
The European basic resources index rose 1.3 percent, extending gains on expectations China would support its economy after Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday the world's top metals consumer will speed up investment and construction plans to ensure domestic demand expands at a stable rate.
Stronger miners, the biggest sectoral gainers, helped the FTSEurofirst 300 to gain 0.3 percent to 1,309.39 points by 1523 GMT after moving in and out of negative territory. The index, which is about 3 percent below its 5-1/2-year high set in January, has gained almost 2 percent this week.
"The market is consolidating at a very high level before we push sharply higher. We need a catalyst and that might come from the European Central Bank in the form of fresh policy initiatives," Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets, said.
"The elements for the continuation of the current rally are on the table. The market is not cheap but not extremely expensive either and economic growth is going to be decent. If you believe in the scenario of a gradual economic upturn, you should play the sectors that benefit from that and invest in stocks such as basic resources and banks." Continuación...