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* Italy's FTSE MIB hits fresh 15-year high

* French economy contracts in Q3, inflation eases

* ASR up after final settlement with interest groups

Nov 30 (Reuters) - European shares hit a more than two-month high on Thursday, boosted by energy and financials, while investors geared up for key inflation prints from the United States and euro zone to back expectations that global interest rates have peaked.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.2% by 0930 GMT, eyeing its biggest monthly jump since January, with rate-sensitive real estate and technology stocks leading monthly sectoral gains.

For the day, energy stocks jumped 1.1% as oil prices climbed ahead of an OPEC+ meeting, while insurance stocks rose 0.6%.

The Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge - the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index - and Europe's Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) inflation data are due later in the day.

"There's this tension around inflation and growth. Inflation on the margin is coming in a little bit lower than consensus forecast, but growth is a bit mixed," said Richard Flax, chief investment officer at Moneyfarm.

Investors expect the European Central Bank to cut rates in April after inflation and growth figures for a handful of euro zone countries came in lower than expected, pricing in derivatives markets showed.

Data showed the French economy contracted by 0.1% in the third quarter, while November inflation continued to ease more than expected. The benchmark CAC 40 index was up 0.2%.

Other sets showed German retail sales rose more than expected in October, while the number of unemployed people in Germany rose in line with expectations in November.

Germany's benchmark stock index rose 0.2%.

Meanwhile, Italy's benchmark stock index touched a fresh 15-year high, up 0.2%, jumping 25% so far in 2023 and outperforming the STOXX 600's 8.2% advance this year.

"We've seen bond yields drifting lower, helping some of the peripheral markets. Italy relatively from a macro perspective, is highly indebted and so relief on the yield side perhaps has a larger impact on financial assets in that market," Moneyfarm's Flax said.

Italy's Leonardo rose 2.1% after JP Morgan resumed coverage of the defence and aerospace group with an "overweight" rating.

Dutch insurance company ASR jumped 11.8% to top the STOXX 600 after announcing a final settlement with interest groups concerning unit-linked products for an amount well below expectations.


climbed 8.1% after the French investment company set out strategic objectives for 2024-2027.

VAT Group rose 4% after JP Morgan upgraded the Swiss specialist valve maker to "overweight" from "neutral", while Swiss engineering group ABB gained 1.9% after unveiling higher sales and profitability targets.

OCI dropped 6.8% after Jefferies downgraded the chemicals producer to "hold" from "buy", while Elekta lost 5.1% after Barclays initiated coverage on the radiation therapy equipment maker with "underweight" rating. (Reporting by Ankika Biswas and Khushi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)