Takeover activity props up European shares
* FTSEurofirst 300 closes up 0.3 pct at 1,361.54 points
* Euro STOXX 50 rises 0.3 pct to 3,172.72 points
* French telecom stocks boosted by merger moves
* Take more defensive approach - Sunrise Brokers strategist
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) - Corporate takeover activity propped up European equities on Friday, allowing key indexes to recover after a sell-off in the previous session caused by weak economic data in Portugal and Italy.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.3 percent at 1,361.54 points, recovering from a 0.8 percent retreat on Thursday that had pushed the FTSEurofirst down from a 6-year peak of 1,372.81 points reached earlier this week.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also rose 0.3 percent, to 3,172.72 points.
Takeover activity has supported European equities this year, and shares in French telecom firms such as Iliad and those of conglomerate Bouygues - which owns Bouygues Telecom - rose on Friday on new signs of deals in the sector. Continuación...