Italian company results help propel European shares to 6-yr high

lunes 12 de mayo de 2014 10:14 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct, sets 6-year high

* Euro STOXX 50 up 0.8 pct

* Italy leads rally as strong results fuel recovery hopes

* Sky Deutschland, Alstom boosted by M&A activity

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - European shares scaled six-year highs on Monday, led by Italian companies after strong results from the country's biggest bank, UniCredit, among other firms.

Sentiment was further underpinned by fresh mergers & acquisition activity and renewed speculation about monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank following dovish comments from Austria's central banker, Ewald Nowotny.

Italy's FTSE MIB index rose 1.5 percent to outpace all major European indexes as estimate-beating results from lenders UniCredit, Banca Popolare di Milano and also from motorway and airport operator Atlantia reinforced optimism about a recovery in the euro zone's third largest economy.

Italian shares, along with their peers in Spain, Portugal and Greece, have outperformed indexes in core European countries such as Germany and France over the past year, boosted by improving economic data.   Continuación...