European shares post best week in a month, miners gain
* FTSEurofirst 300 index closes 0.1 percent higher
* Index records biggest weekly gain in one month
* Basic resources stocks extend Thursday's gains
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher in choppy trading on Friday and recorded their biggest weekly gain in a month, helped by a rally in basic resources stocks and some positive technical buying signals.
The European basic resources index rose 1.1 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 close 0.1 percent higher at 1,307.24 points 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, gained 1.8 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...