European shares advance, but Ukraine jitters limit gains

lunes 12 de mayo de 2014 04:12 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 flat

* Alstom up on German support for Siemens tie-up

* Miners gain as JPMorgan upgrades sector to "overweight"

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - European stocks inched higher on Monday, with France's Alstom rallying after Germany said it would support a takeover by Siemens, but tensions in Ukraine are likely to limit the market's strength.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.1 percent at 1,357.11 points by 0746 GMT after slipping 0.3 percent on Friday, leaving it just shy of a near-six-year high reached last week at 1,359.43. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was flat, at 3,183.76 points.

Alstom - which is reviewing a bid by U.S. giant General Electric for its energy businesses - climbed 2.8 percent after Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday the German government would support a tie-up between Siemens and Alstom if the companies decide that it would make sense.

Equity markets have been buoyed in recent weeks by a burst of dealmaking and bids, some good news on earnings and the possibility of more stimulus steps from the European Central Bank in June. But the market may have hit a ceiling for now, amid tensions in Ukraine after Sunday's referendum.

About 40 European blue-chips derive more than 5 percent of their revenues from the Russian market, including Austria's Raiffeisen Bank and Finnish tyre maker Nokian Renkaat . They generate 26 percent and 21 percent respectively of their revenues in Russia, according MSCI data.   Continuación...