* STOXX up 0.7 percent, close week down 0.5 pct
* Well-received earning updates lift Beazley, Hexpol,
* Intesa Sanpaolo rises after CEO comforts investors
* Miners drop as metal prices weaken on China worries
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By Danilo Masoni and Helen Reid
LONDON, Feb 3 European shares ended a mixed week
on a positive note on Friday, helped by well-received company
earnings and buoyant economic data, while mining stocks were hit
by weaker metal prices.
The STOXX 600 closed up 0.5 percent, bouncing back
from losses seen in the previous session. The index ended the
week down 0.6 percent this week as concerns about the impact of
U.S. President Donald Trump's policies have halted a rally in
The pan-European index benefited from positive Eurozone
factory activity data in the morning, and got a midday boost
from U.S. non-farm payrolls growth which exceeded
Euro zone businesses started 2017 by increasing activity at
the same multi-year record pace they set in December, purchasing
managers' index surveys showed.
Beazley was a top European gainer, up 7.2 percent
after the UK insurer reported a stronger than expected rise in
full-year pretax profit. Beazley added to the
insurance sector's outperformance, with French insurers
AXA and Accor top of the CAC 40 too.
Well-received results also boosted shares in Sweden's Hexpol
and Skanska, but Spain's Banco Popular
fell 6.8 percent after posting a full-year record 3.5
billion euros loss.
Swiss industrial baker Aryzta was also a top
gainer, up 7.6 percent, regaining ground from a sharp 32 percent
drop on Jan. 24 after the company issued a profit warning.
Finnish paper producer Stora Enso was bottom of
the STOXX after its Q4 results missed analysts' estimates.
Reports that Trump would repeal the Dodd-Frank financial
regulation act boosted banking stocks as investors
cheered the prospect of lighter banking regulation.
"The changes to Dodd-Frank are likely to be small to begin
with but Trump is shifting the direction of travel from more to
less regulation. That's a good thing for the financial sector,
and less red tape is good for corporate America as a whole,"
said Jasper Lawler, analyst at LCG Markets.
Intesa Sanpaolo rose to the top of Italy's
blue-chip index after its Q4 results and a call with CEO Carlo
Messina during which he reassured investors that a possible
tie-up with insurer Generali would not disrupt
Messina told analysts the bank would "take all the time it
needs" to assess the possible merger. He said any M&A deal would
have to respect the commitment to pay 3.4 billion euros in
dividends to Intesa shareholders on 2017 accounts.
Miners fell 2.4 percent, their biggest daily loss
since Nov. 15, and the biggest sectoral loser in Europe,
tracking copper prices lower after China's surprise interest
rate hike spooked metals markets with fears of a clampdown on
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni and Helen Reid; Editing by Jon