* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.5 pct
* AstraZeneca stock jumps 15 pct as Pfizer says to buy firm
* Bayer rallies after posting forecast-beating results
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, April 28 European stocks rose on Monday,
as gains in the pharma sector driven by merger moves and
forecast-beating results from Germany's Bayer
outweighed the impact of tensions in Ukraine.
Shares in AstraZeneca surged 15 percent after U.S.
rival Pfizer said it wanted to buy the British drugmaker
in a deal potentially worth more than $100 billion.
The sharp jump in the stock represented a rise in the
group's market capitalisation of roughly 7.7 billion pounds, or
Shares in German conglomerate Siemens dropped 2.3
percent after the group said it was mulling an asset swap with
France's Alstom, which has received an offer for its
power arm from U.S. bellwether General Electric.
"Thanks to central banks' massive (provision of) liquidity,
a lot of companies are now looking for takeover targets across
the board, which is very positive for the market," said Lionel
Jardin, head of institutional sales at Assya Capital, in Paris.
"It helps forget about Ukraine, which seems to slowly
disappear from investors' radar screens despite the violence.
With time, investors are getting used to the crisis."
At 0807 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index
, which hit a near six-year high earlier this month, was
up 0.4 percent at 1,337.39 points.
The index lost 0.8 percent on Friday as investors moved to
the sidelines, wary of a potential deterioration in the
Ukrainian crisis over the weekend.
President Barack Obama on Sunday called for the United
States and Europe to join forces to impose stronger measures to
restrain Moscow. In a move senior U.S. officials said may come
as early as Monday, the White House said it would add names of
people close to President Vladimir Putin and firms they control
to a list of Russians hit by sanctions over Ukraine, and also
impose new restrictions on high-tech exports.
On the earnings front, shares in Bayer gained 3.8
percent after posting forecast-beating quarterly results,
helping Germany's DAX outperform.
Frankfurt's benchmark index was up 0.5 percent. The UK's
FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40
up 0.4 percent.
"Indexes are still stuck in ranges for now. The dip buyers
are offsetting the selling pressure, and the longer-term trend
is still positive," Aurel BGC chartist Gerard Sagnier said.
Despite Bayer, the overall earnings picture for Europe
About one-fifth of companies of the STOXX Europe 600 index
have reported quarterly results so far, of which half
have beaten or met analysts' expectations. Some 75 percent of
U.S. companies have beaten or met forecasts.
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 Atul Prakash in London; Editing by