European shares rise, Gemalto and WPP climb higher

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, lifted by solid results at advertising group WPP and chipmaker Gemalto, which enabled European stocks to regain their upwards momentum.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had risen in five of the last six sessions, stood 0.3 percent higher in early session trading.

Shares in WPP, the world’s biggest advertising group, advanced 2.4 percent as it reported a solid start to 2016 after account wins and strong demand across the board helped it end 2015 with its best growth of the year.

Gemalto also rose by more than 10 percent after it reported a rise in annual profits.

After a turbulent start to 2016 due to worries about global growth and the health of the banking sector, European stocks have had a recent rally as oil prices recovered and fears over a U.S. economic slowdown abated.

Nevertheless, the FTSEurofirst remains down by around 7 percent since the start of 2016. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Atul Prakash)