European shares rebound, AstraZeneca jumps 15 pct

LONDON, April 28 Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:15am EDT

LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) - European equities bounced back in early trading on Monday, with AstraZeneca surging after U.S. drugmaker Pfizer confirmed it made a bid approach for Britain's second biggest drugs group.

AstraZeneca shares climbed 15 percent after Pfizer said it made an approach in January and contacted the company again on April 26 seeking to renew discussions about a takeover. A Pfizer bid for AstraZeneca would be one of the largest ever pharmaceuticals deals.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which hit a near six-year high earlier this month, rose 0.5 percent to 1,338.85 points by 0709 GMT after closing lower on Friday.

Germany's DAX index rose 0.5 percent, helped by a 4.6 percent gain in drugmaker Bayer, which posted an 11 percent rise in first-quarter underlying operating profit.

According to Thomson Reuters StarMine, one-fifth of companies on the STOXX Europe 600 index have reported results so far, of which only half have beaten or met analysts' expectations.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Blaise Robinson)

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