European shares rise as data, Spanish results brighten mood
* Euro STOXX 50 up 0.4 pct, FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.8 pct
* Strong euro zone data, Spanish results lift recovery hopes
* Earnings picture mixed; BASF falls after miss
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Thursday, with southern indexes leading the charge, as better-than-expected euro zone economic data and some strong corporate results in Spain injected some optimism about the region's recovery.
Pan-European indexes turned positive after data showed the euro zone's private sector expanded at the fastest rate in three months in July, helping dispel investor concerns after a string of disappointing data in recent months.
"People were over-responding to some of the weaker numbers," said Peter Westaway, head of the investment strategy group at Vanguard, noting seasonal factors and tensions in Ukraine had weighed on recent surveys.
"The underlying story is still intact, which is the recovery is ongoing but is weak."
The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.8 percent at 3,217.18 points while the broader FTSEurofirst 300 index index was up 0.4 percent at 1,381.21 points by 1021 GMT. Continuación...