Europe shares inch higher; miners resume selloff
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct, pauses after last wk's slide
* French telecom stocks rally on Bouygues-Iliad deal
* Mining shares hurt again by soft Chinese data
PARIS, March 10 (Reuters) - European shares inched higher in early trade on Monday following the previous session's sharp sell-off, although mining shares dropped again, hurt by soft Chinese macro data.
French telecom shares sharply rallied, with Iliad up 13.6 percent, Bouygues up 7.1 percent and Orange up 4 percent, after Bouygues's telecom unit agreed to sell its mobile network and much of its spectrum to Iliad as a way to head off competition regulators' concerns about its pending bid for Vivendi's SFR unit.
Robin Bienenstock, analyst at Bernstein Research, said that a combination of SFR and Bouygues would lift the entire sector, leaving out only cable operator Numericable, which had also bid for SFR. Numericable shares fell 10 percent on Monday.
"We think that this is the best deal for Vivendi, Bouygues, Iliad and Orange, easing price pressure in both wireless and wireline," Bienenstock wrote in a note.
At 0835 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,327.33 points. It had tumbled 1.5 percent last week, knocked by tensions in Ukraine.
Mining shares slid again, however, hurt by Chinese data showing a surprisingly sharp drop in exports which tipped the country's trade balance into a deficit. Continuación...