European shares rally on "patient" Fed, Tesco
* FTSEurofirst 300 index rises 2.9 pct after Fed minutes
* ECB reiterates it may buy sovereign bonds
* Tesco top gainer after trading update
* Monte Paschi rallies on Santander merger speculation
* Greek shares lag on election worries
By Francesco Canepa and Atul Prakash
Jan 8 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Thursday as a strong Christmas update from Britain's Tesco boosted retailers and Federal Reserve minutes showed the U.S. central bank was not in a hurry to start raising interest rates.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed 2.9 percent higher at 1,368.37 points, recouping all the ground lost since the start of the year.
Retailers led the bounce on Thursday, with the STOXX Europe 600 Retail index up 4 percent. Tesco shares jumped 15 percent after it reported better-than-expected sales in the six-week Christmas period and unveiled plans to sell assets and cut hundreds of millions of pounds of costs. Continuación...