European shares extend rally after China rate cut
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 1.3 pct, hits seven-week high
* China rate cut is its first in more than two years yrs
* Comments from ECB's Draghi also boost sentiment
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Nov 21 (Reuters) - European stocks extended an early rally on Friday morning, led by mining shares after China's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in more than two years in an attempt to lift its cooling economy.
European mining shares, strongly affected by China's economic growth, featured among the top gainers, with Rio Tinto up 3.9 percent and BHP Billiton 2.9 percent. The STOXX basic resources sector index rose 3.4 percent.
"It comes right after China's disappointing PMI figures showing that manufacturing activity is getting dangerously close to contraction," said Alexandre Baradez, chief market analyst at IG France.
"China's central bank is now following the path of the Fed, the ECB and the BoJ. Central banks are really driving markets."
China's rate cut was in response to stalled factory growth and continued weakness in the property market, which are dragging on broader activity and curbing demand for everything from furniture to cement and steel. Continuación...