European shares rise as M&A prospects lift Telecom Italia, Mediaset
* Telecom Italia, Mediaset up on consolidation prospects
* Credit Agricole rises on cost-cutting plans
* BMW falls after dividend disappointment (Adds details, shares)
By Danilo Masoni and Sudip Kar-Gupta
MILAN/LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday helped by gains in Italy's Telecom Italia and Mediaset on prospects of possible M&A deals with French rivals.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which fell 0.9 percent on Tuesday to around its lowest level in a week, rose 0.6 percent by 1540 GMT, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.7 percent.
The FTSEurofirst remains down by around 7 percent since the start of 2016, with stock markets having been hit by signs of a slowdown in China, the world's second-biggest economy, weaker euro zone data and concerns over Europe's banking sector.
But some investors said sentiment was helped by expectations of more monetary stimulus measures from the ECB on Thursday.
The ECB is expected to make a 10 basis-point cut to its deposit rate, taking it deeper into negative territory, while some type of adjustment of the central bank's 1.5 trillion euro asset purchase programme is also expected by markets. Continuación...