* Germany's DAX hits record high
* Bureau Veritas rises after deal to buy Maxxam Analytics
* FTSEurofirst 300 closes up 0.7 pct at 1,296.83 points
* Euro STOXX 50 ends up 0.7 pct at 3,070.91 points
* IMF forecast of strong U.S. economy boosts equities
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Dec 23 European shares rose for the
fourth consecutive session on Monday, buoyed by corporate
takeover activity and by gains on Germany's DAX index
which hit a record high.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up
0.7 percent at 1,296.83 points. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro
STOXX 50 index also advanced 0.7 percent to 3,070.91
points, while Germany's DAX rose 0.9 percent to a
record closing high of 9,488.82 points.
Signs of a revival of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity
supported the gains.
German broadcaster ProSiebenSat1 rose 1.6 percent
as it agreed to sell its east European TV and radio stations.
Testing and inspection group Bureau Veritas also
rose 3.5 percent on to the FTSEurofirst 300's leaderboard as
traders welcomed its move to buy Maxxam Analytics.
"Whenever you see some M&A, you have to buy the market,"
said Toby Campbell-Gray, head of trading at Tavira Securities.
Europe's stock markets have benefited this year from signs
that European and other economies are slowly recovering from the
after-effects of the 2008 financial crisis and the euro zone's
sovereign debt crisis.
In the latest example of a strengthening economic
environment, the International Monetary Fund predicted on Sunday
that the U.S. economy would expand at a faster pace in 2014.
Varengold Bank trader Anita Paluch said this backdrop should
drive further gains next year for the DAX, which has risen
around 25 percent since the start of 2013 to outperform a 14
percent rise on the FTSEurofirst 300 index.
"The outlook for the DAX looks very positive. The global
economic outlook is definitely improving and this would help the
DAX since the index features many export-oriented companies,"