Italy outperforms as European equity rebound strengthens
* Milan is Europe's top-performing bourse, up 1.5 pct
* Investors welcome likelihood of Renzi as new Italy PM
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 pct, ESTOXX 50 up 0.5 pct
* German, French economic growth also lifts equities
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Italy's stock exchange led European shares higher on Friday as investors reacted positively to Rome's new prime minister, while signs of economic growth in Germany and France gave a further fillip.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.4 percent at 1,330.22 points to mark its seventh rise in eight sessions, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced by 0.5 percent to 3,112.37 points.
Italy's FTSE MIB equity index was the region's best-performing stock market as it rose 1.5 percent to bring its gains since the start of 2014 to nearly 8 percent, outperforming a 1 percent rise on the FTSEurofirst 300.
Italian bond yields also fell to near eight-year lows as investors warmed to the prospect of centre-left leader Matteo Renzi becoming the country's new prime minister. Continuación...