European equities set new highs; leisure shares help
* FTSEurofirst 300 index closes 0.2 pct higher
* Intercontinental Hotel Group gains on M&A talk
* ARM advances on positive broker note
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, May 27 (Reuters) - European shares rose to multi-year highs on Tuesday, bolstered by U.S. economic data, mergers and acquisitions talk and expectations of more policy easing by the European Central Bank.
New economic numbers showed orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods unexpectedly rose in April, home prices advanced more than expected in March and consumer confidence rose to near its highest since 2008.
In addition, on Monday ECB chief Mario Draghi suggested once again that the central bank will cut euro zone interest rates next week. Other policymakers drove home the message on Tuesday.
Acquisition talks also helped the market. The STOXX Europe 600 Travel and Leisure index closed up 1.2 percent after climbing to its highest since 2007, as Intercontinental Hotel Group gained on media reports of interest from an unidentified bidder in the United States.
Intercontinental Hotel, or IHG, rose 3.4 percent to feature among the top performers on the FTSEurofirst 300 index. The index closed 0.2 percent higher at 1,378.82 points after climbing to its highest since early 2008. In the United States, the S&P 500 index hit a record high. Continuación...