March 4, 2016 / 9:27 AM / 4 years ago

European shares inch up on gains at Gemalto and miners

* Gemalto surges after results

* Firmer metals prices boost mining stocks

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) - European shares inched up on Friday as solid results at chipmaker Gemalto and firmer mining stocks kept equities on their recent upwards trajectory.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had risen in five of the last six sessions, edged up 0.1 percent, as did the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index.

After a turbulent start to 2016 due to worries about global growth and the health of the banking sector, European stocks have had a recent rally as oil prices recovered and fears over a U.S. economic slowdown abated.

Nevertheless, the FTSEurofirst remains down by around 7 percent since the start of 2016.

“The recession fears were overdone. The market panicked in January and went into risk-off mode too quickly. I was buying back in January and February although I’m not adding any more for now,” said Clairinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu.

Gemalto rose by more than 10 percent after it reported a rise in annual profits.

Shares in Oslo-listed Seadrill jumped more than 20 percent, lifted by an overnight rise of 15 percent in the company’s U.S-listed shares as firmer oil prices propped up U.S. and European energy stocks.

Mining stocks such as Glencore and Antofagasta advanced, helped by a rally in the prices of major industrial metals.

Many traders were focusing on U.S. employment data due at 1330 GMT.

U.S. employers likely stepped up hiring in February, in a sign of labour market strength that could further ease fears the economy is heading into recession and allow the Federal Reserve to gradually raise interest rates this year.

Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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