* France’s CAC outperforms, helped by solid French data
* Numericable surges after broker price target upgrades
* Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) - A rise in the Paris market, after strong French economic data, pushed European shares higher on Wednesday and enabled the region’s equity indexes to stabilise from the effects of a bond market sell-off this week.
France posted its fastest economic growth rate in two years in the first three months of 2015, although Germany slowed from its robust pace late last year, official data showed on Wednesday.
The benchmark Paris CAC-40 index rose 1.2 percent, outperforming Germany’s DAX and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which both advanced 0.7 percent.
The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.9 percent.
European stock markets slumped on Tuesday as a global bond market sell-off unnerved investors.
However, the situation in the bond markets was more steady on Wednesday and the solid economic data from France also reassured equity investors.
“It did not feel like a full-scale panic earlier this week, more like a short-term correction. I’ve been buying into the dip on the Euro STOXX,” said Andreas Clenow, hedge fund trader and principal at ACIES Asset Management.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index remains up around 16 percent since the start of 2015, the Euro STOXX 50 is up 15 percent and Germany’s DAX -- which hit record highs in April -- is up 18 percent.
Greece’s main ATG equity index rose 1.6 percent but the market is up only 2 percent this year as Athens has been locked in talks with lenders on a cash-for-reforms deal.
No agreement has yet been reached and Greece needs a deal to unlock aid within weeks to avoid running out of cash.
French telecoms services company Numericable surged by more than 10 percent, making it the best performer on the FTSEurofirst, as both Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale raised their price target on Numericable’s shares and kept “buy” ratings on the stock.
Mike Reuter, a broker at Tradition, said investors had used the dip in the European stock markets earlier this week to hunt out stocks for relatively cheap prices.
“I think people have started to do some bottom fishing already,” he said.
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Louise Ireland and Raissa Kasolowsky)