European shares advance, led by Standard Life
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.6 percent
* Standard Life gains on Ignis acquisition
* Analysts see equity markets trapped in range
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday, led by UK insurer Standard Life on acquisition news, with broader sentiment buoyed by stronger U.S. data as well as optimism over possible stimulus measures from the European Central Bank and China.
Standard Life advanced 5.2 percent after it bought Ignis Asset Management for 390 million pounds ($643.7 million) - a week after the British finance minister overhauled the country's pensions and savings industry.
"The move is strategic and absolutely necessary to diversify their overall business away from their traditional pensions and life insurance area in light of the bombshell news announced from the 2014 UK budget on how pensions are handled," said Jordan Hiscott, senior sales trader at Gekko Global Markets.
Hiscott's six-month target price for the company is 437 pence, its May 2013 peak.
Trading volume in Standard Life was robust, at half of its 90-day daily average after just over an hour's trade, against a quarter seen on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300. Continuación...