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* STOXX Europe 600 index ends down 0.07 pct
* Basic resources stocks among top gainers
* UK housebuilders fall
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - European shares steadied on
Wednesday, with basic resources companies underpinning the
broader market following a rise in metals prices.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended down 0.07
percent, after rising in the previous two sessions.
The European basic resources index rose 1.3 percent
after hitting its highest level since mid-2015 after base as
precious metals prices advanced. Shares in BHP Billiton,
and Rio Tinto rose 2.1 and 0.9 percent respectively.
"Longer term, the 'New Trump' reality of higher growth
through fiscal stimulus and infrastructure work certainly
warrants higher commodities and stock prices," said Philippe
Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis.
"However, in the short run, miners, just like the overall
market, are clearly ahead of themselves and a small period of
consolidation would be healthy for the sector."
The European mining sector has surged more than 12 percent
this month alone, taking total gains for this year to 60
percent, on growing expectations that U.S. President-elect
Donald Trump's pledge to invest heavily in infrastructure
projects will enhance demand for raw materials.
UK Housebuilders were volatile after finance minister Philip
Hammond unveiled plans to raise housing and infrastructure
spending in the biggest economic update since Britain voted in
June to leave the European Union. After initially surging on the
spending plans, sectors shares tuned lower. Barratt Developments
fell 1.9 percent, while Persimmon and Taylor
Wimpey both dropped over 1.5 percent.
Analysts said the early gain was not sustained as the extra
funding had been anticipated. There was also a lack of detail
about how the new housing would be delivered, and the sector was
also caught up in poor global market sentiment.
Generali were among the biggest losers, down 3
percent, after the insurer reiterated 2018 targets and said it
aimed to cut operating costs. Some analysts expressed concern at
the insurer's dividends.
Elsewhere, British travel company Thomas Cook rose
more than 7 percent after saying it was on track to grow in its
current financial year. It has seen an encouraging start to
bookings for next summer and is benefiting from a turnaround
plan for its German airline Condor.
(Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Mark