* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct, Euro STOXX 50 0.8 pct
* M&A activity boosts Alstom, Scania
* Upbeat results across sectors underpin mood
* Unilever, Michelin fall as fx effects mar results
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, April 24 European shares resumed their
rise on Thursday, boosted by mergers and acquisitions activity
and upbeat updates from electrical gear maker Schneider Electric
and oil services group Technip among others.
Shares in Alstom jumped 14.1 percent to the top of
the FTSEurofirst 300 after Bloomberg reported that General
Electric was in talks to buy the turbine and train maker.
The French company said it had not been informed of any
potential public tender offer.
Scania was the second-biggest riser, up 9.7
percent, after its fourth-largest shareholder said it would
accept Volkswagen's takeover offer for the truck
maker, improving prospects for the bid to go through despite
High corporate cash piles and a better economic outlook are
fuelling M&A activity in Europe, helping shares advance in the
past week and eclipsing investor concerns about tensions between
the West and Russia over Ukraine.
"The markets at the moment are constantly looking for
reassurance, with all that is going on in Ukraine, and M&A
activity shows in the corporate world at least it's business as
usual," said Farhan Ahmad, a trader at Tradenext.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.7
percent at 1,348.09 points at 0955 GMT, recouping all losses
suffered the previous day and resuming an advance begun last
week. The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.8
percent at 3,202.14 points.
The STOXX 600 Europe industrial goods and services index
was up 1 percent, also supported by a 5.7 percent rise
in Schneider Electric.
The French company reported a rise in first-quarter sales
and said business in Western Europe had improved, echoing upbeat
results and outlook statements across sectors.
Oil services group Technip, outdoor equipment
maker Husqvarna, miner Anglo American,
Spanish bank Sabadell and Danish industrial enzymes
producer Novozymes all rose after their updates.
About 10 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies have
reported quarterly results so far, with 54 percent in line with
or beating forecasts, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed.
Bucking the trend were Unilever , tyre
maker Michelin, and waste treatment and water group
Suez Environnement, which fell by between 1.6 percent
and 3.6 percent as their results showed the damage of currency
effects on earnings.
The euro recently surged to a 2-1/1 year high
against a trade-weighted basket of currencies, meaning euro zone
exporters lost out when translating their foreign sales into he
"A lot of companies, and especially exporters, are suffering
from the strong euro, and it's not clear that this is entirely
priced in by analysts and investors," a Paris-based equity and
exchange-traded fund (ETF) trader said.
"The best way to play this is to look for domestic
companies, which will suffer less from the strong euro."
A strong euro and stubbornly low euro zone inflation have
been a worry for equity investors and the European Central Bank.
ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday the bank could
embark on a broad-based asset purchase programme in the event of
a worsening of the inflation outlook.
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 Blaise Robinson in Paris; Editing by