Germany's DAX hits new record highs as European shares rise
* DAX hits new record highs, over 12,000 points
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.6 pct
* Siemens rises on Egyptian power deals
By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Blaise Robinson
LONDON/PARIS, March 16 (Reuters) - European stocks rose on Monday and Germany's DAX hit record highs, extending their recent sharp rally as investors bet that the weakened euro would boost the region's economy and lift exporter earnings.
The DAX -- which factors in returns from dividends unlike many other European equity indexes -- was up by 1 percent to touch new record highs, breaking through the 12,000-point level.
The broader, pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.7 percent at 1,589.57 points, its highest since late 2007.
The DAX and other European stock markets have been lifted since the start of 2015 by the European Central Bank's (ECB) launch of a new bond-buying programme which is aimed at boosting economic growth in Europe.
The bond-buying programme -- known as quantitative easing (QE) -- has pushed down bond yields, driving investors over to the better returns available from the stock market, and weakened the euro. Continuación...