European shares extend Friday's rally; helped by M&A

lunes 24 de noviembre de 2014 05:09 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.7 pct

* Friends Life surged 7.9 pct on Aviva deal

* Market supported by biggest M&A wave in 7 years

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Nov 24 (Reuters) - European shares inched higher in early trading on Monday, as mergers and acquisitions fever helped the market extend the previous session's sharp rally.

Shares in UK insurer Friends Life surged 7.9 percent after rival Aviva agreed terms on a possible deal to buy it for 5.6 billion pounds ($8.8 billion). Aviva stock slipped 3.7 percent.

Bucking the trend, shares in Petrofac Ltd sank 24 percent after the oil and gas services firm unveiled profit targets well below analyst forecast, highlighting how the sector is struggling with plummeting crude oil prices.

At 0848 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,388.15 points.

The index surged 2.1 percent on Friday, a sharp rally sparked by dovish comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and a surprise interest rate cut in China.   Continuación...