(ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report for more details)
MILAN, May 20 (Reuters) - European shares were higher in early trading on Friday, helped by gains in Asia overnight and stronger oil prices, with UniCredit leading the gainers on talk of possible asset sales.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had fallen 1.2 percent in the previous session, was up 0.9 percent by 0708 GMT. Miners and oil stocks were the top sectoral gainers, underpinned by stronger commodity prices.
UniCredit rose 3.4 percent after media reports it could look at asset sales to boost its capital base, which could help ease concerns over a potential cash call.
A source with knowledge of the matter said UniCredit was assessing the sale of stakes in FinecoBank, Turkey's Yapi Kredi and Poland's Bank Pekao.
But Richemont was 4.5 percent lower after the Cartier owner predicted no improvement in the trading environment after sales growth slowed further and April sales fell 15 percent, hit by weak demand for watches in Hong Kong and Europe.
Today's European research round-up
ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development). In a real-time, multimedia format from 0600 London time through the 1630 closing bell, it will include the best of our market reporting, Stocks Buzz service, Eikon graphics, Reuters pictures, eye-catching research and market zeitgeist. Breaking news and dramatic market moves will continue to be alerted to all clients and we will continue to provide a short opening story and comprehensive closing reports.
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA.
Reporting by Danilo Masoni