September 9, 2015 / 4:51 PM / 4 years ago

European shares hit two-week high, miners boost

* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ends 1.4 pct higher

* Mining companies top sectoral riser as metals rally

* Ryanair surges after raising full-year profit forecast

* GSK falls after drug disappoints in trials

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - European shares climbed for a third session to a two-week high on Wednesday, with miners tracking a rally in metals prices on expectations that the world’s top consumer, China, would take further steps to boost its economy.

The market was also helped by a nearly 5 percent jump in Ryanair after the airline hiked its annual profit forecast by 25 percent on strong summer fare growth. The European travel and leisure index rose 1.8 percent.

The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index surged about 3 percent, boosted by a rally of between 2.9 percent and 5.5 percent in shares of Anglo American, Rio Tinto , BHP Billiton and Glencore.

“We have seen exaggerated moves in commodity prices during the recent sell-off and a bounce in metals prices has prompted investors to rush back to grab miners. People are now seeing value in beaten-down miners,” said Koen De Leus, senior economist at KBC in Brussels.

Copper prices, which had fallen more than 20 percent in the four months to last week, hit a seven-week high. A gain of more than 5 percent this week was triggered by mining giant Glencore’s plan to suspend 400,000 tonnes of copper output from Africa.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 1.4 percent higher at 1,435.54 points after rising to 1,453.51, the highest level since late August. The benchmark index has jumped about 10 percent since hitting an eight-month low late last month.

Markets came under pressure in August on concerns over China’s growth, and the recent rally has come after Chinese authorities increased support and regulation of stock trading.

While the moves have brought stability to prices, equities and futures are trading so thinly that they are in danger of flat-lining, analysts said.

GlaxoSmithKline was among a few stocks in negative territory on the FTSEurofirst 300 index. Shares in the drugmaker fell 1.2 percent after GSK and its partner Theravance said their inhaled medicine Breo failed to prolong the lives of patients with chronic respiratory disease.

Goldman Sachs left its estimates for GlaxoSmithKline unchanged after the test results but said the failure was an “unexpected disappointment”.

“From a purely financial perspective (especially relative to consensus) we see this as only a marginal disappointment ... (however) it raises deeper questions around GSK’s overall R&D strategy and spend,” Goldman analysts said in a note.

Europe bourses in 2015:

Asset performance in 2015:

Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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