(Bloomberg) -- European shares headed for their best day in six weeks as commodity producers rebounded on higher metals prices, and data pointed to continuing economic progress in the region.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 1.1 percent to 344.26 at 3:02 p.m. in London. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Anglo American Plc led miners to the best performance of the 19 industry groups on the equity gauge as iron ore in China jumped to a two-week high. Data today showed the euro-area economy held its growth momentum in August, with a composite Purchasing Managers Index for the 19-nation region posting its strongest expansion in seven months. The volume of shares traded was 23 percent lower than the 30-day average.
“We’ve had a decent rebound, largely driven by the basic-resource sector and some decent data,” said Michael Hewson, a market analyst at CMC Markets in London. “Yesterday we saw a bit of a selloff, largely as a result of a decline in oil prices. Now we’re seeing some light buying on the back of some decent results from the housebuilding sector here in the U.K. and some fairly decent PMI data. There’s nothing really that came out this morning that would suggest that the rally we’ve seen thus far is under threat.”
The Stoxx 600 is up 13 percent from its February low, although it is still down 5.9 percent this year. Sliding miners weighed on the gauge yesterday, eroding gains to leave it little changed amid speculation on the trajectory of U.S. borrowing costs. Uncertainty over the timing of the next rate increase has exacerbated concerns about Europe that include a banking crisis in Italy and waning faith in the European Central Bank’s ability to spur growth.
Among stocks moving on corporate news today:
- UniCredit SpA rose 6 .4percent after a Polish newspaper reported that the heads of PZU SA and the state-run Polish Development Fund will fly to Milan to negotiate the terms of a Bank Pekao SA purchase from the Italian lender.
- U.K. homebuilder Persimmon Plc climbed 4.2 percent after reporting a “robust” first half and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Fairburn said he hadn’t seen any change in buyer behavior since the Brexit vote. Building-materials supplier Grafton Group Plc increased 5.9 percent.
- Straumann Holding AG added 1.4 percent after the medical device manufacturer raised its full-year revenue guidance.
- Schneider Electric SE rose 2.1 percent after people familiar with the matter said the power-equipment maker is weighing a sale of DTN, an agriculture news and data service that could be worth as much as $1.5 billion.
- Logitech International SA slipped 1.9 percent after UBS Group AG cut its rating on the maker of computer mice to neutral from buy, saying that the shares now reflect improvements, and there is a risk of setbacks in sales growth in the medium term.