* FTSEurofirst 300 index up 0.8 pct
* Miners up on China stimulus hopes
* Nokia gains after deal, Alcatel-Lucent slips
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - European shares touched a new 14-year high on Wednesday, with Nokia gaining after agreeing to buy rival telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent , and firmer oil and metals prices boosting energy and mining stocks.
The STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index rose rose 1.8 percent after Brent crude rose by a dollar on signs of a dip in U.S. production. Shares in Royal Dutch Shell, Tullow Oil and BP rose 0.8 to 2.4 percent.
Miners also climbed after data showing China grew at its slowest pace in six years at the start of 2015 raised hopes of fresh stimulus measures in the world’s biggest metals consumer. The mining index, up 2.4 percent, was the top sectoral gainer.
Data for March showed that Chinese retail sales, industrial output and fixed-asset investment data all missed analyst expectations. Growth in fixed-asset investment, a key driver of the world’s second-biggest economy, was the slowest since 2000, while industrial output grew at its weakest since the global financial crisis in 2008.
“Some indicators show that the underlying weakness in the Chinese economy is quite pronounced and it may keep alive the speculation of broader stimulus measures down the road,” Gerhard Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank in Munich, said.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.8 percent at 1,652.19 points by 0835 GMT, after touching 1,653.19, the highest since 2000.
Nokia shares rose 2 percent on news it would buy Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share transaction that values its smaller French rival at 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion).
The deal will be finalised in the first half of 2016 and is expected to result in 900 million euros of operating cost savings by the end of 2019, the firms said.
However, Alcatel-Lucent, which surged 16 percent in the previous session on expectations of the deal, fell 11 percent, with some analysts saying the deal appeared less attractive for Alcatel on the basis of Tuesday’s share price rally.
Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 share index was up 0.4 percent after hitting another record high, while Germany’s DAX advanced 0.7 percent.
Investors’ focus will be on a meeting of the European Central Bank, which may sanction possible further emergency funding for Greece’s banks amid the first clear signs that the wider euro zone economy is picking up.
The ECB is all but certain to keep its interest rates at record lows, but continued wrangling between Greece and the euro zone over reforms for aid is casting uncertainty over the 19-country currency bloc. (Editing by Susan Fenton)