* FTSEurofirst 300 ends second straight week of gains
* Miners among top gainers as metals prices up
* RBS shares slump after “disappointing” results
* Eni up after in-line dividend (Adds closing prices, details)
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - European equities rallied on Friday to reach a three-week high, as a jump in metals prices boosted miners and some encouraging company updates also supported 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 ($2.7 bln). Restructuring and litigation costs continued to weigh it down.
Jefferies analysts called the RBS results “disappointing”.
Miners were the top performers, with the STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index gaining 3.9 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 by 2.9 to 7.9 percent.
They helped the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index end up 1.6 percent and strike its second positive week in a row.
Earlier in the session, the index touched 1,312.23 points, its highest level since early February.
The market also got support from a positive start at Wall Street following strong GDP data and earlier on from gains in Asia following 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.
Markus Huber, trader at City of London Markets, said growing speculation that the People’s Bank of China might take additional measures soon to boost growth was fuelling the positive sentiment.
Oil stocks were the second top sectoral gainers, up 3.6 percent, helped by stronger crude prices. Eni gained 5.5 percent after proposing a dividend in line with expectations in spite of a heavy fourth-quarter net loss.
Other company updates also helped the market. Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa rose 5.8 percent after better than expected full-year results, while education and media company Pearson rose 4.3 percent after in-line results.
Irish index ISEQ rose 1.6 percent as voters went to the polls in national elections that were expected to deliver no clear winner, but also no major policy changes.
Today’s European research round-up ($1 = 0.7203 pounds) (Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan; Editing by Mark Heinrich)