May 17 (Bloomberg) -- European stocks advanced after a recovery in copper and gold prices helped mining companies including Rio Tinto Group rebound from their worst selloff in almost four years.

Vivendi SA gained after the media company's profit beat estimates and it rejected a proposal for its business to be split. Xstrata Plc climbed after offering $18 billion to top a rival bid for Canada's Falconbridge Ltd.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index gained 0.5 percent to 330.82 at 8:36 a.m. in London. The Stoxx 50 added 0.3 percent while the Euro Stoxx 50 index for the 12 countries using the euro advanced 0.5 percent.

European stocks yesterday rebounded from their worst two- day slide in three years as reports on U.S. inflation and housing eased concern that interest rates in the world's largest economy will keep rising. The Stoxx 600 had fallen to a two- month low.

Indexes climbed in all the 14 western European markets open today except Belgium. France's CAC 40 advanced 0.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent. Germany's DAX Index added 0.6 percent.

Rio Tinto, the world's third-largest mining company, climbed 3.1 percent to 3058 pence. Anglo American Plc, the second biggest, rose 2.4 percent to 2269 pence. The Dow Jones Stoxx Basic Resources Index had fallen 11 percent since May 12 to yesterday, the worst three-day showing since August 2002.

Gold rose as much as 2.5 percent in Asia, rising above $700 an ounce, as a weaker dollar made the precious metal more attractive as an alternative investment. The contracts fell 5.2 percent on May 15 as investors booked gains after the bullion surged to a 26-year high this year.

Vivendi, which owns France's second-largest mobile-phone operator, gained 4.9 percent to 29.16 euros after it said first- quarter profit rose to 707 million euros ($910 million). That topped an estimate for profit of 560 million euros in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

Xstrata, which mines for coal, copper and zinc, will offer C$52.50 a share for the 80 percent in Falconbridge it doesn't already own, exceeding an agreed offer from Inco Ltd. A takeover would create the world's fourth-largest mining company by sales. The shares added 4 percent to 2185 pence.

Credit Agricole SA, France's biggest lender by assets, rose 1.1 percent to 33.45 euros. The bank said first-quarter profit increased 53 percent to 1.39 billion euros as rising stock markets lifted revenue from investment banking and asset management. Profit beat the 1.09 billion-euro median estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Tesco Plc, the U.K.'s biggest supermarket owner, climbed 1.6 percent to 324.75 pence. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought 57.6 million shares of Tesco, the worst performing stock in the Bloomberg Europe Food Retailers Index this year, a filing showed yesterday after markets had closed.

Among economic reports scheduled for today, data on April consumer prices in the U.S. may give at 1:30 p.m. London time the latest indication of the pace of growth in Europe's largest export market. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey expect an increase of 0.5 percent, according to the median estimate, up from a 0.4 percent gain in March.

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