* Italian bank UniCredit lifted by asset sale talk
* But Cartier owner Richemont slumps on cautious outlook
* Firmer copper prices boost mining stocks (ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development). Adds details, updates prices)
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, May 20 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, led higher by financials and mining companies, which climbed as metal prices gained ground.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 1 percent to 1,322.93 points, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 1.1 percent.
Italian bank UniCredit rose 4.4 percent after a source with knowledge of the matter said it was assessing the sale of stakes in FinecoBank, Turkey’s Yapi Kredi and Poland’s Bank Pekao. So doing could reduce the need for UniCredit to issue new shares to bolster its capital.
“The sale of further stakes in quality units could have an immediate positive effect on capital but would weigh on profitability over the medium and longer terms,” ICBPI analyst Luca Comi said in a note.
Mining shares also advanced 1.7 percent as signs China’s housing market is improving lent copper prices some support. Anglo American gained 4.8 percent.
China, the world’s second-biggest economy, is the world’s leading metals consumer.
Luxury goods company Richemont fell 4.9 percent after the Cartier owner said its trading environment would remain tough, with rival Swatch also dropping 2.4 percent.
The FTSEurofirst remains down around 8 percent so far in 2016.
Today’s European research round-up
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Catherine Evans)