* FTSEurofirst 300 up 1.8 pct, biggest gain in 2 months
* Miners supported by better China PMI data
* Vodafone deal sparks speculation on telecoms M&A
* Delay in Syria strikes lifts all sectors
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - European shares rose sharply on Monday, buoyed by a resurgent mining sector after strong manufacturing data from China and as M&A activity lifted telecom stocks.
All European sectors were in positive territory as a delay to U.S. military action in Syria also boosted sentiment, supporting technical buying on the first day of the month.
Miners jumped 3.4 percent after a survey showed that output at China’s factories was the strongest in months in August as domestic demand made up for weak exports. Strong manufacturing data from Europe also helped support appetite for shares.
“We have bounced this morning off the back of these Chinese numbers, and then the numbers in Europe,” Lucas Roux de Luze, sales trader at TJM Partners, said.
“After the speculation of intervention in Syria, the market had started to tank. Now we’re back to a normal situation, where we’re not expecting anything new on Syria until the end of the week, and the markets are back to fundamentals.”
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 gained 1.8 percent to trade at 1,216.17 by 1023 GMT. Concerns over instability in the Middle East that could follow any potential Western military operation in Syria saw the FTSEurofirst fall back 2.3 percent last week.
Any action from the United States in response to a chemical weapons attack in Damascus last month has now been delayed until after a congressional vote, which will take at least nine days.
British telecoms company Vodafone jumped 3.7 percent after people familiar with the matter said that the company would announce a $130 billion deal on Monday that will give Verizon Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless. That would give the U.S. company complete control of Verizon Wireless, subject to final board approval.
The telecom sector rose 2.8 percent, with Goldman Sachs lifting its rating on the European sector to “neutral” from “cautious”, citing activity in M&A that could benefit other firms in the sector.
Telecom Italia jumped 4.9 percent, the top FTSEurofirst gainer, on speculation that it could be the next to join the merger wave.
The pan-European index has rallied 9 percent since mid-June as stronger economic data has boosted the outlook for the region. UBS said it has gone “overweight” on Europe, citing positive surprises in economic data that should help earnings improve.
“Given the depressed nature of European earnings in relation to the U.S, there is more ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of a recovery in European macro,” analysts wrote in a note.
U.S. markets will be closed for a public holiday on Monday.