* FTSEurofirst 300 index extends Thursday’s rally
* Miners among top gainers as metals prices up
* RBS shares slump after “disappointing” results
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - European equities extended the previous session’s strong rally to a three-week high on Friday, with stronger miners on the back of firmer metals prices and some encouraging company updates supporting the market.
However, state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland slumped more than 7 percent after reporting its eighth straight full-year loss of 1.97 billion pounds ($2.75 billion) as it continued to be weighed down by restructuring and litigation costs.
Jefferies analysts called RBS results “disappointing”.
Miners topped the leaderboard, with the STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index gaining 3.2 percent following sharp gains in the prices of key industrial metals such as copper and aluminium.
Shares in Glencore, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rose 4.3 to 6.4 percent, helping the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index to gain 1.8 percent.
Earlier in the session, the index climbed up to 1,308.99 points, its highest level since early February. It closed 2 percent higher in the previous session and headed for its second positive week in a row.
The market also got support from gains in Asia following some reassuring comments from world finance leaders. Setting the tone for the Shanghai meeting of the Group of 20, China’s central bank chief, Zhou Xiaochuan, said Beijing still had the room and tools to support the world’s second largest economy.
“Growing speculations that the PBoC (People’s Bank of China) might be taking additional measures soon to boost growth is fuelling the positive sentiment this morning,” said Markus Huber, trader at City of London Markets.
“Overall sentiment is positive as markets are closing in towards the highs of the current trading range.”
The market was also helped by company updates, with Spain’s Amadeus gaining 4.3 percent after saying it was targeting a dividend pay out of 50 percent of reported profits in 2016.
Satellite operator SES rose 5.6 percent after forecasting steady to slightly higher revenue this year after increased earnings in 2015 due to a higher dollar.
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Toby Chopra)