* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.3 pct
* Vodafone jumps after renewed Verizon talks
* Carrefour rises after sharp improvement in French sales
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Aug 29 European stocks rose on Thursday,
snapping a sharp two-day drop, lifted by Vodafone shares
surging on renewed talks with Verizon.
Corporate results were back at the forefront of investors'
minds, with Carrefour surging 5.2 percent after the
world's second biggest retailer posted a sharp improvement in
earnings at its core French business.
Investors were also more open to buying as prospects of an
imminent Western-led attack on Syria weakened.
Shares in the UK telecom firm jumped 8.5 percent after
confirming talks with Verizon to buy Vodafone's 45 percent stake
in their U.S. joint venture.
The news sparked a rally in the sector, with Telecom Italia
up 2.9 percent, Orange up 2.8 percent and
Deutsche Telekom up 1.4 percent.
At 0730 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,204.78 points, after
losing 2 percent in two days.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
was 0.3 percent at 2,750.96 points. The benchmark index sank as
much as 3.6 percent in the past two sessions, before bouncing
back on Wednesday on a strong support level, its 50-day moving
average, at 2.720.57 points.
"The overall sentiment remains cautious, but the fact that
military action against Syria doesn't look imminent anymore is
prompting a number of investors to bet on a rebound at this
point," said Guillaume Dumans, co-ahead of research firm
U.S. plans for a limited military strike against Syria in
response to last week's chemical weapons attack faced obstacles
with British allies and U.S. lawmakers, which could delay any
Smart card maker Gemalto rose 6 percent after
reporting higher first-half sales and saying it expects
double-digit expansion in profit.
With Europe's earnings season drawing to an end, about 55
percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies have met or
beaten analysts forecasts, Thomson Reuters Starmine data shows,
the best relative earnings season since the third quarter of
Around Europe, UK's FTSE 100 index was up 0.4
percent, Germany's DAX index up 0.2 percent, and
France's CAC 40 up 0.2 percent.