European shares start quarter with gains after PMI boost
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.8 pct, after 16 pct gain in Q1
* Spanish, Italian shares hit highest since 2010 after PMIs
* Barry Callebaut up 8 pct after posting strong results (Adds detail, quote)
By Alistair Smout and Blaise Robinson
LONDON/PARIS, April 1 (Reuters) - European shares reversed early losses after the first major data of the new quarter showed manufacturing activity across the euro zone accelerated faster than previously thought last month.
Markit's final March manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) was at a 10-month high of 52.2, beating a preliminary reading of 51.9, adding to signs the bloc's economy is recovering.
After Chinese data rattled markets on Wednesday, German manufacturing PMIs beat a preliminary reading and French data showed a less severe contraction than first estimated.
Spanish and Italian PMIs helped both national blue-chip indexes up 1 percent, hitting their highest levels since 2010. Continuación...