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Europe: Shares rise early, led by auto stocks
[PARIS] European shares rose early on Thursday, helped by robust German data as well as figures showing a strong recovery in Europe's auto sector.
At 0707 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.4 per cent at 1,618.32 points.
Renault was up 2.1 per cent and BMW up 1.9 per cent.
According to industry figures published late on Wednesday, the auto sector's recovery broadened to France, while Spain, Italy and Portugal recorded double-digit sales growth again as they recover from a steep collapse in demand following the 2008 financial crisis.
Robust German data also lifted the mood, with the country's seasonally-adjusted exports rising 1.5 per cent on the month after dipping by 2.1 per cent in January.