* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct after Friday’s sell-off
* Telenet, KPN shares rise after Belgian deal
* China stimulus lifts mining sector
By Francesco Canepa and Lionel Laurent
LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - European shares made a positive start to the week on Monday, thanks to deal-making in the telecoms sector and stimulus from China, though gains were not enough to entirely erase the losses from Friday’s sharp sell-off.
This week brings a raft of first-quarter trading updates from European companies, which are heading for their best earnings season for four years on the back of a weak euro and improving economic conditions.
The European Central Bank’s (ECB) bond-buying stimulus plan has kept eurozone bond yields down and propped up appetite for equities, with NN Investment Partners reiterating in a note that it was “particularly positive” about European equities.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.7 percent at 1520 GMT, close to multi-year peaks, with Frankfurt’s DAX index enjoying the strongest rebound among major national indexes, rising 1.6 percent.
Volkswagen, the only German blue-chip stock to fall, was depressed after Scania order updates and comments from the Shanghai auto show pointed to slowing China demand.
Worries over Greece’s stalemate with international creditors sent ripples through European bond markets but had a fairly limited impact on equities. Athens’ ATG index was the only national share benchmark in negative territory.
The Greek index was also hit by a law requiring public-sector entities to transfer idle cash reserves to the central bank and by Vitor Constancio saying the ECB could not offer unlimited finance to Greek banks.
Telecoms stocks including Belgacom, Deutsche Telekom and Numericable were up more than 2 percent after Liberty Global’s Belgian subsidiary Telenet said it had agreed to buy local mobile network operator Base from Dutch group KPN.
“It seems pretty good for both,” RBC Capital Markets analyst, Michael Bishop, said. “A slightly higher price for KPN than had been speculated and slightly better synergies compared to market expectations for Telenet.”
As a result of taking over Base’s network, Telenet will no longer need to rent capacity from Belgium’s No. 2 network operator, Mobistar, shares in which fell 12 percent.
Mining stocks also got a boost after China’s central bank unveiled new measures to shore up the world’s second-largest economy and top consumer of metals.
Among other standout gainers, Banca Popolare di Milano rose 4.4 percent after Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera reported a possible merger with Banco Popolare.
In Copenhagen, shares of jeweller Pandora rose 4 percent after news of e-store launches in the American market.
On the downside, oilfield services provider Petrofac fell 10.2 percent after warning costs at its Laggan-Tormore project in the Shetland Islands would be higher than expected.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Louise Ireland)