LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - European shares inched higher in early deals on Friday, helped by gains in the construction sector after Holcim and Lafarge agreed to new merger terms.
Holcim rose 1.6 percent and Lafarge added 3.6 percent after the companies agreed to new terms, including a new share-swap ratio for the deal, over their planned multi-billion-euro merger, which would create the world's biggest cement firm.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.1 percent at 1,600.15 points, hitting a new 7-1/2 year high at 0809 GMT.
Britain's Tullow Oil was the top gainer on the index, up 5 percent, after the Africa-focused oil producer said it had raised an additional $450 million of capital from existing lenders, boosting its financial strength amid weak oil prices. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Atul Prakash)