* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct, reverses previous day's slide
* Euro STOXX 50 up 1 pct, moves back above 50-day moving
* "Stars are aligned" for Veolia-Suez tie-up -Exane
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, April 16 European shares rose on
Wednesday, reversing the previous session's slide as economic
growth data from China came a touch above forecasts.
Shares in Tesco, the world's No.3 retailer, gained
1.7 percent, bouncing after a 15 percent slide in two months as
traders said a fall in profits reported by the group was not as
steep as some had feared.
"Tesco this morning was not quite as bad as expected," said
Berkeley Futures associate director Richard Griffiths.
French utilities Veolia Environnement and Suez
Environnement both surged around 3 percent, boosted by
At 1031 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index
was up 0.7 percent at 1,316.05 points, in a rebound
mostly seen by traders as technical.
Earlier this month, the index hit a near six-year high, but
the rally has been halted by worries over the crisis in Ukraine
as well as concerns about the pace of Chinese growth.
Data showed on Wednesday China's economy grew at its slowest
pace in 18 months in the first quarter, at 7.4 percent, though
the figure was slightly stronger than the median forecast of 7.3
percent in a Reuters poll.
"The Chinese data is reassuring, but at the same time
company results have been quite mixed, just look at ASML.
Without good earnings it's going to be difficult to move
higher," said Arnaud Scarpaci, fund manager at Montaigne
Capital, in Paris.
"This is not an entry point on the market, but it's not
necessarily time to cut positions either. We should have a
better idea of the short-term trend following the U.S. data this
Investors awaited a batch of U.S. macroeconomic figures on
Wednesday, including housing starts and industrial output.
Shares in ASML, the world's biggest manufacturer
of tools for semiconductor chip makers, fell 3.5 percent after
it trimmed its first-half sales forecast, blaming slower
second-quarter sales to some customers.
Credit Suisse lost 2.1 percent after first-quarter
net profit fell by more than a third as revenue from bond
trading tumbled, raising question marks over the bank's
investment banking strategy.
Veolia Environnement and Suez Environnement featured among
top gainers after Exane BNP Paribas analysts said in a note the
"stars are aligned" for the French waste and water companies to
revisit the idea of a merger.
"We see up to 60 percent valuation upside from synergies in
a bull scenario, while leverage should be reduced sharply,
providing scope for further consolidation and/or improved
shareholder remuneration," the analysts wrote.
Around Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index was up 0.3
percent, Germany's DAX up 0.8 percent and France's CAC
40 up 0.8 percent.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
was up 1 percent at 3,120.69 points, moving back above its
50-day moving average, sending a positive technical signal.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in London; Editing by