* STOXX 600 up 0.4 pct; banks top sectoral gainer
* Glencore drags down miners after profit fall
* Forest products firm SCA soars on split plan
* WPP jumps after beating results forecast (Adds closing prices)
By Kit Rees and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, Aug 24 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday, helped by a buoyant banking sector, while a disappointing update from British miner Glencore dragged the mining sector lower.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.4 percent for its third straight session of gains.
Glencore declined 3 percent after reporting a fall in underlying profit and lowering its debt target.
“At certain levels (Glencore) may look pretty attractive for entry for a buy. However ...after the rally that it’s seen, this report doesn’t really warrant a leg higher in the share price,” Jonathan Roy, advisory investment manager at Charles Hanover Investments, said.
Europe’s Basic Resources index fell 1.4 percent as copper prices hit two-month lows.
Italian lender UniCredit soared 8 percent, making it the top STOXX gainer, helped for a second day by talk it might soon sell its stake in Polish unit Pekao Bank.
Europe’s STOXX 600 Bank was the biggest sectoral gainer, up 2 percent.
South Africa-exposed stocks including Investec and Old Mutual fell after South Africa’s finance minister was summonsed by police over an investigation into a surveillance unit in the tax service, sending the rand tumbling.
Among the top gainers, Swedish forest products group SCA hit a record high, soaring 7.5 percent after announcing plans to split into two listed firms.
British advertising firm WPP rose 1.9 percent after beating first-half net sales forecasts.
“We are encouraged by the positive trading performance and operational momentum revealed in this morning’s results. We remain bullish on WPP’s ability to capitalise on a solid medium-term outlook for global advertising spend,” Roddy Davidson, analyst at Shore Capital Markets, said in a note. (Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and John Stonestreet)