PARIS, Aug 1 (Reuters) - European shares climbed on
Thursday, with a blue-chip benchmark surging to a two-month high
following a batch of forecast-beating corporate results and
upbeat manufacturing data from around the world.
Shares in Societe Generale jumped 11 percent after
the French lender posted earnings that more than doubled, thanks
in part to a surge in securities trading revenue.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
provisionally closed 1.3 percent higher at 2,803.10 points, a
level not seen since late May and less than 2 percent below the
index's year high.
Germany's DAX - home of some of Europe's biggest
exporters - outperformed, up 1.5 percent, boosted by data
showing China's official PMI for manufacturing surprisingly rose
to 50.3 in July, suggesting a pick-up in activity.
U.S. data, meanwhile, showed output there growing at its
fastest pace in two years, which pushed the S&P 500 above
the 1,700 level for the first time; while European factories
snapped a two-year run of declining output, a sign that the euro
zone recession may be near its end.
"Good macro, good earnings, M&A revival... all the lights
are turning 'green' for European equities," said David Thebault,
head of quantitative sales trading, at Global Equities.
"People have been reluctant to buy shares ahead of the
earnings season, that's why we're seeing massive gains in many
stocks after the companies beat forecasts," he said.