European stocks rise as energy shares rally on Shell-BG deal
* STOXX Europe energy sector up 3.8 pct
* European Q1 earnings seen up 0.4 pct yr-on-yr: Rtrs data
* Greek market falls ahead of IMF loan deadline
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, April 8 (Reuters) - European shares marched higher on Wednesday, led by a rally in energy stocks after Royal Dutch Shell agreed to buy BG Group for 47 billion pounds ($70 billion) in the first oil super-merger for a decade.
BG shares jumped 31.8 percent, Tullow Oil soared 8.7 percent and BP gained 1.5 percent. Royal Dutch Shell fell 3.3 percent, reflecting the high premium it is paying for BG.
The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index, hammered in the past year as oil prices tumbled, advanced 3.8 percent and the sector's rise enabled the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index to progress 0.2 percent to 1,615.85 points.
"The sector has been ripe for consolidation given the bearish outlook for oil prices, and we could see other takeovers in the industry in the coming weeks and months. Overall, the M&A wave which is spreading to a number of sectors is very good for the market," said Saxo Bank trader Andrea Tueni.
The FTSEurofirst was close to an eight-year high while France's CAC stood near its highest level in around 7-1/2 years. Continuación...