Miners, banks lift European shares; Pearson jumps after Penguin stake sale

LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) – European shares made modest
gains for a second session on Tuesday as strength among miners
and banks lent a helping hand.
The pan-European STOXX 600 edged up 0.3 percent, in
line with euro zone stocks and blue-chips,
in muted trading punctuated by early earnings updates and more
corporate dealmaking activity.

Basic resources stocks supported the index, up 1
percent, with Anglo American the top FTSE gainer.

Pearson gained 2.6 percent, a top STOXX riser after
it sold 22 percent of its stake in publisher Penguin Random
House, to bolster its balance sheet and return 300 million
pounds ($386 million) to shareholders.

Marks & Spencer reported a rise in full-price sales,
but its shares fell 0.6 percent, partly on the back of
underwhelming food sales. Rivals Tesco and Morrisons
rose more than 1 percent.

Construction equipment company Travis Perkins was
lifted by a positive update from peer Galliford Try,
which said it saw full-year profit at the top end of guidance.

Broker notes also spurred some moves, with semiconductor
makers STMicro and AMS top gainers after JP
Morgan raised the Italian semiconductor maker to ‘overweight’.

Among the top individual drags on the STOXX 600 were
Randstad and Adecco, targeted by Deutsche
Bank in a note on staffing firms.

Analysts at Deutsche cut ratings for the world’s two largest
staffing firms, saying current employment levels in the U.S. and
Europe were associated with peaking 12-month investor returns.

(Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)