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* FTSEurofirst up 0.1 percent, off earlier highs
* Banks set for fifth straight day of gains
* Miners rise on new Chinese stimulus measures
* Luxottica falls after disappointing update
By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, March 2 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday, with banks on course for their fifth straight day of gains after previously suffering heavy losses, while Luxottica led losers after a disappointing update.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.1 percent by 1209 GMT, off earlier highs, and the euro zone’s Euro STOXX 50 index was 0.3 percent firmer.
“We do appear to have turned a corner on European markets,” said Hantec Markets’ analyst Richard Perry. Others were more cautious, pointing to underlying signs of weakness in the global economy.
European stock markets slumped at the start of 2016 on concerns about a slowdown in China, the world’s second-biggest economy, and worries surrounding the impact of low central bank rates and poor growth on banks’ profitability.
The FTSEurofirst is still down 7 percent since the start of 2016.
The STOXX Europe 600 Bank index rose 2 percent, making it the biggest sectoral gainer, after ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure said the cental banks was aware of concerns that ultra-low rates may put pressure on bank margins.
Some investors viewed the remarks as a sign the ECB could put in place pro-bank measures at its policy meeting next week.
Credit Suisse, Santander and UniCredit were all up by between 3.3 percent and 4.1 percent.
Shares of miners rose 1.4 percent as metals prices rallied on signs of a recovery in the Chinese property market following Beijing’s announcment this week that it would cut bank reserve requirements and make other structural reforms.
Anglo American advanced 3 percent and steelmaker ArcelorMittal 3.4 percent.
Luxottica fell 3 percent after the world’s biggest eyewear maker trimmed its outlook and said it would not pay a special dividend.
Analysts at JP Morgan also cited ongoing governance uncertainty at Luxottica after it appointed a close aide of the company’s founder and chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio to the board.
Medical technology group Elekta slumped 16 percent after posting core earnings that missed market forecasts.
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Gareth Jones)