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* STOXX Europe 600 index ends up 0.9 pct
* Housebuilders among top gainers
* UniCredit helps Italy outperform
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - European shares advanced on Tuesday, with housebuilders leading the market higher and mining companies rebounding from their declines the day before.
Britain’s second-largest housebuilder, Persimmon, rose 4.2 percent after reporting its reservation rate had risen an annual 17 percent since the start of July. Some builders have warned Britain’s vote in June to leave the European Union could slow the property market.
“The group’s interims have run out better than we anticipated,” Shore Capital analyst Robin Hardy said. “The statement is bullish and confident and again seeks to ... push the message that the Brexit result is set to have little or no impact on the new homes market.”
Persimmon’s peers Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments and Bellway rose 4 to 6.1 percent.
The European basic resources index rose 2.6 percent, the biggest gain by a sector. BHP Billiton, Glencore and Anglo American rose 3 to 4.9 percent.
The pan-European STOXX 600 ended up 0.9 percent. Germany’s DAX rose 0.9 percent and France’s CAC gained 0.7 percent, helped by upbeat surveys of economic activity.
French economic activity accelerated to levels last seen just before militant attacks in Paris last November. German growth slowed in August but remained robust overall, suggesting Europe’s biggest economy would continue to expand .
A third survey showed activity in the euro zone was little changed in August, though manufacturers may face a tougher September as new order growth slowed.
UniCredit rose 6.6 percent on speculation the Italian bank could be close to selling its remaining stake in Polish unit Bank Pekao to beef up its balance sheet.
On Monday, sources told Reuters the chief executive of Poland’s biggest insurer, PZU, would travel to Milan this week to discuss buying a stake in Pekao.
Other Italian bank stocks were also in demand. That helped Italy’s FTSE MIB index gain 2.5 percent, outpacing the wider European market.
Swiss PC accessories maker Logitech fell 1.7 percent, the worst performance in the STOXX 600 index, after UBS cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from “buy”, citing the risk of sales growth setbacks. (Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan, editing by Larry King)