* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 pct after eurozone consumer prices fall
* Expected ECB action positive for equities -HSBC strategist
* Air France shares slip after militant attack in Paris
* Greek shares fall as bond yields rise above 10 percent (Includes closing prices)
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday, halting a three-day slide, after a report showed consumer prices fell more than expected, increasing the chances the European Central Bank would begin a long-awaited bond-buying scheme.
Euro zone consumer prices fell 0.2 percent in December compared with the same month last year, a first estimate by the European statistic office showed. Prices last fell in October 2009.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 share index closed up 0.5 percent, paring its gains towards the end of the trading day.
“We don’t think investors should fight the ECB,” said Robert Parkes, a strategist at HSBC. “We think they will deliver quantitative easing (bond-buying) in the first quarter, and that will offer support to European stocks.”
Markets were mostly unaffected by the deadliest militant attack on French soil in decades. Masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and killed at least 12 people.
But Franco-Dutch airline Air France KLM shares fell 3 percent, underperforming rivals and the broader travel and leisure index. Traders and analysts cited the attack and heightened security in France.
Shares of French building and concessions group Vinci rose 3.7 percent after the French newspaper Les Echos said talks between the French government and motorway operators over toll roads were making progress and a deal could be reached by Jan. 15.
Airbus rose 2.6 percent. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday the company beat U.S. rival Boeing in aircraft orders in 2014, maintaining a lead in new business despite lagging in deliveries.
The Athens ATG index lagged behind, falling 1.5 percent. Fears over coming elections in Greece pushed benchmark bond yields above 10 percent.
Shares in UK grocer Sainsbury’s reversed early gains and fell 2.1 percent after the group reported better-than- expected results in the Christmas quarter. Traders noted the retailer’s caution about prospects for its full financial year.
However, German retail sales rose 1 percent in November, beating expectations for no change, data from Germany’s Federal Statistics office showed on Wednesday.
Portugal Telecom slumped 19 percent to record lows on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Portuguese Prosecutor General’s office said it had conducted searches of the company’s offices.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Larry King)