July 11, 2017 / 7:27 AM / a year ago

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

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