* Live markets: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
* Pan-European STOXX index up 0.3 percent at close
* Miners underpin market, set to gain 62 pct in 2016
* FTSE 100 posts record closing level
* Italian lenders Banco Popolare and Pop Milano under
(Adds detail, updates with closing prices)
By Kit Rees and Danilo Masoni
LONDON, Dec 28 European shares inched up in
quiet festive trade on Wednesday, with stronger mining stocks
underpinning the broader market and helping Britain's FTSE 100
to a record closing level.
The STOXX Europe 600 closed 0.3 percent higher,
while the FTSE, which reopened on Wednesday after the
Christmas break, was up 0.5 percent by the close at its highest
ever closing level of 7,106.08 points.
The FTSE outperformed its European peers thanks to the
index's heavy exposure to mining stocks.
The Basic Resources STOXX index led sectoral gainers
with a rise of 3 percent on the back of firmer metals prices.
The index is on track to end the year with a gain of about 62
percent, helped by a recovery in commodities prices, better
balance sheets and expectations of monetary stimulus in the
Miners BHP Billiton and Anglo American rose
4.3 percent and 3.6 percent respectively. Precious metals miners
Fresnillo, Randgold Resources and Centamin
were also in demand as gold prices extended gains.
"The yellow metal is in demand and could be set for a
successful test above the $1,150 resistance," London Capital
Group analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya said in a note.
Merger partners Banco Popolare and Banca Popolare
di Milano were among the biggest STOXX losers, down
2.2 percent and 2.7 percent respectively. One Milan-based trader
said the stocks were hit by concerns over coverage levels for
Airlines and aircraft manufacturers were also in focus, with
shares in Airbus down 0.3 percent after the company
postponed deliveries of a dozen A380 planes to Emirates Airline.
International Consolidated Airlines and Deutsche
Lufthansa both fell more than 2.5 percent.
Spanish airport operator Aena was down 1.8 percent
after online newspaper El Confidencial reported that the company
would be forced to cut tariffs it applies to airlines by 2
percent a year in the 2017-2021 period.
Outside the STOXX , Britain's Bovis Homes dropped
5.3 percent after saying it would not deliver the number of
houses it originally expected in 2016, with profit likely to
fall below market forecasts.
Price moves in other sectoral indexes were small - between a
gains and falls of about 1 percent - in muted trading.
Turnover on the STOXX index dropped to 13.3 billion euros on
Wednesday, compared with an average of 26.7 billion euros over
the past month. The pan-European index is set to end the year
with a fall of 1.2 percent.
(Editing by David Goodman)