European shares hit fresh six week highs, OCI surges
* FTSEurofirst 300up 0.4 pct, STOXX 600 up 0.4 pct
* Chemicals companies lifted by merger talk
* Julius Baer slides after tax-dodging charge
* Precious metal miners hit after gold drops to 5 year low
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher at the open on Monday, lifted by a surge in Dutch firm OCI as it confirmed that it was in merger talks.
The STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.4 percent, hitting a new six week high.
Top riser was OCI, up 11 percent after the Amsterdam-listed chemical company confirmed it is in advanced merger talks with U.S. fertiliser maker CF Industries Holdings Inc.
Norwegian peer Yara International rose 2.8 percent, a top FTSEurofirst 300 riser. Yara sold a 50 percent stake in its British fertiliser manufacturer to CF Industries, its joint venture partner, three weeks ago and traders said there could be further M&A activity in the sector. Continuación...