European shares led higher by commodity stocks, UniCredit
* Pan-European index up 1.2 percent
* Higher commodity prices help mining, oil stocks
* Italian bank UniCredit lifted by asset sale talk
* Cartier owner Richemont underperforms after update (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). Adds details, updates prices)
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, May 20 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, helped by gains in Asia overnight and stronger oil prices. UniCredit led the gainers on talk of possible asset sales.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 1.2 percent by 0749 GMT after falling on Thursday amid concern the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates as early as next month.
UniCredit rose 3.9 percent after on reports that it may sell some holdings to improve its capital base. A source with knowledge of the matter said UniCredit, Italy's biggest bank by assets, was assessing the sale of stakes in FinecoBank, Turkey's Yapi Kredi and Poland's Bank Pekao.
"The sale of further stakes in quality units could have an immediate positive effect on capital but would weigh on profitability over the medium and longer terms," ICBPI analyst Luca Comi said in a note. Continuación...