European shares set for best weekly gain this year; BHP advances
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct; up 2.5 pct this week
* Volumes low due to public holiday in Europe
* BHP set to spin off unwanted assets; mining sector gains
* Lufthansa up on report German air tax could be scrapped
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, gaining ground for the fourth time in five sessions, helped by BHP Billiton after the world's biggest miner said it could spin off assets.
Shares in BHP advanced 2.8 percent after the group confirmed its preference for a demerger of unwanted aluminium, manganese and nickel assets.
Mining firms have been shedding assets in recent years in a bid to boost profits in the face of falling commodity prices, strengthening the investment case for the sector.
"(Capital expenditure) discipline is something that's very important I think to see share price performance... It is encouraging for the sector overall," James Butterfill head of equity strategy at Coutts, said. Continuación...