* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct, FTSE 100 up 0.3 pct
* Euronext markets, Madrid closing at 1305 GMT
* London market closing at 1230 GMT, Frankfurt closed
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Dec 24 (Reuters) - European stocks inched up on Wednesday in a shortened session ahead of the Christmas break, gaining ground for the seventh day in a row and mirroring a rally on Wall Street fuelled by unexpectedly strong U.S. economic growth data.
Shares in British medical device maker Smith & Nephew Plc surged 7 percent after Bloomberg reported U.S. rival Stryker Corp was planning a takeover offer.
Oil major BP Plc gained 1.1 percent, outpacing oil and gas shares, after the Kommersant business daily said the firm was close to a deal with its Russian partner, state oil company Rosneft, for a new project that would expand its commitments in Russia despite Western sanctions.
At 0824 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,376.16 points, extending a rebound started in mid-December.
The London Stock Exchange is set to close the session at 1230 GMT, while Euronext markets will close at 1305 GMT, along with the Madrid Stock Exchange. The cash markets for both Milan and Frankfurt are closed.
With just a few sessions remaining in 2014, the FTSEurofirst 300 is up 4.6 percent on the year, lagging a 12.6 percent rally for the S&P 500.
“In 2014, we saw the return of volatility in Europe while the economic recovery remained sluggish,” Natixis strategist Benoit Peloille said.
“Results from all the measures unveiled by the ECB (European Central Bank) have been mixed so far. Lending remains weak, economic growth is relatively low and deflation risks are on the rise.”
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Alexandre Boksenbaum-Granier; Editing by Mark Potter)