* FTSEurofirst 300 index rises 0.8 percent
* Miners top gainers as metals prices surge
* Givaudan shares rise as maintains targets
* Volkswagen ordinaries rally, outperforming preferentials
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Top European stocks hit a one-month high on Friday and were set for their biggest weekly gain since late January on stronger mining shares and renewed hopes of interest rates staying ultra-low for longer.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index is up 4.8 percent so far this week, with investors back buying equities after a sharp sell-off in August and September, reassured by some stabilisation in commodity prices. The index was up 0.8 percent on Friday.
The Bank of England on Thursday showed no sign it was close to raising rates, while minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve meeting showed it decided to wait for evidence that a global slowdown would not knock a U.S. recovery off course.
“The jury is still out whether the Fed will hike rates in December or early 2016, but this seems to be enough to lift global stocks after a horrible third quarter,” Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets, said.
“Focus will be on earnings as the market will get more information about how much the emerging market slowdown has damaged earnings and how much bad news has been priced in.”
Shares in trader and miner Glencore rose 7.7 percent, the second biggest gainer in Europe, when zinc prices jumped 8.7 percent on its annoucement that it would slash its annual zinc output by a third.
“This is a major move by the company showing leadership in cutting output to help support commodity prices and is more meaningful to the market than the coal supply cuts it previously made,” said Investec in a note. “It is however, a worrying reflection of the state of China - which currently consumes around 42 percent of the world’s zinc.”
The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index surged 4.4 percent, the top sectoral gainer in Europe, after prices of major industrial metals rose between 3.9 percent and 5.2 percent.
Ordinary shares in Volkswagen rose as much as 15 percent, outperforming the preferential shares which rose as much as 4 percent. One trader attributed the discrepancy to a short squeeze on the ordinary shares.
Shares in Swiss flavours and fragrance maker Givaudan rose 3.5 percent after it maintained its financial targets for the five years ending 2015.
Thomson Reuters data shows the third-quarter earnings of companies in the STOXX Europe 600 index are forecast to fall 4.1 percent from the same quarter a year ago, and revenues to slump 8.3 percent.
Energy companies’ earnings are seen sinking 42.4 percent in the third quarter, while utilities’ earnings rise 21.6 percent.
Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan; Editing by Ruth Pitchford