European shares surge on China's rate cut, dovish ECB comments

viernes 21 de noviembre de 2014 10:39 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 led higher by miners, euro zone banks

* First Chinese interest rate cut in more than two years

* Comments from ECB's Draghi help to boost sentiment

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Nov 21 (Reuters) - European stocks rallied on Friday, with a benchmark regional index hitting a two-month high, propelled by dovish comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and a surprise interest rate cut from China's central bank.

Regional mining shares, highly sensitive to China's economic growth, featured among the top gainers, with Rio Tinto gaining 5.5 percent and BHP Billiton 5.9 percent. The STOXX basic resources sector index, which had tumbled nearly 20 percent in the past four months, rose 5.6 percent.

"It comes right after China's disappointing PMI figures showing that manufacturing activity is getting dangerously close to contraction," IG France chief market analyst, Alexandre Baradez, said.

"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, the first in more than two years, was in response to stalled factory growth and persistent weakness in real estate. Both are dragging on broader activity and curbing demand for everything from furniture to cement and steel.   Continuación...