BNP Paribas leads European shares higher after sanctions settlement
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct
* BNP Paribas rises on relief at U.S. sanctions settlement
* BNP Paribas shares had fallen sharply in recent months
* Fall in Banco Espirito Santo hits Lisbon market
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Tuesday, with BNP Paribas among the top performers after it settled a U.S. sanctions case, a relief to investors.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up by 0.3 percent at 1,374.85 points in early trading - some 2 percent below a 6-1/2 year peak of 1,399.62 points reached last month.
BNP Paribas rose 2.7 percent, making it the best performer in percentage terms on the FTSEurofirst index.
BNP Paribas pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and agreed to pay almost $9 billion to resolve allegations that in many financial dealings it violated U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Cuba and Iran. Continuación...