August 31, 2016 / 7:32 AM / 2 years ago

European shares steady, Commerzbank up on merger report

LONDON, Aug 31 (Reuters) - European equities steadied in early trading on Wednesday after setting a two-week high in the previous day, with gains in companies such as Commerzbank and Bouygues offsetting weaker miners.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was trading flat in percentage terms by 0726 GMT after climbing to its highest level since the middle of August on Tuesday. The index headed for its second straight month of gains.

Commerzbank rose around 4 percent, the top gainer in the STOXX 600, after German Manager Magazin reported that Deutsche Bank had in the past considered the idea of a merger with Commerzbank. Deutsche Bank was up 1 percent.

French construction-to-media conglomerate Bouygues gained 3 percent after the company named two new deputy CEOs and reiterated its pledge to improve its profitability this year after first-half earnings were boosted by an improved performance at its telecom arm.

However, miners were on the back foot, with the European sector index falling 1.3 percent, tracking weaker metals prices. Shares in Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto fell 1.5 to 2.3 percent. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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