* FTSEurofirst 300 up 1.3 pct in early trade
* France’s CAC, Italy’s MIB, Spain’s IBEX hit multi-year highs
* Euro zone manufacturing data boosts sentiment
By Francesco Canepa and Blaise Robinson
LONDON/PARIS, April 7 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Tuesday as FedEx’s 4.4 billion euro ($4.8 billion) bid for Dutch package delivery firm TNT Express prompted a rally in the shares of other postal companies.
TNT stock jumped 30 percent, while PostNL -- TNT’s largest shareholder, which has said it would tender its 14.7 percent stake in the FedEx offer -- surged 13 percent. Royal Mail, Deutsche Post and Kuehne & Nagel gained 1.5-2.7 percent.
Signs that corporate takeover activity was on the rise were also highlighted by French media group Vivendi’s offer to buy Orange’s video-sharing website Dailymotion, with the two stocks gaining 1.2 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.
At 1053 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 1.3 percent at 1,607.89 points, tracking a rally on Wall Street after Friday’s surprisingly weak U.S. jobs data sparked expectations the Federal Reserve could hold off longer on raising interest rates.
France’s CAC 40, Spain’s IBEX and Italy’s MIB were up 0.9-1.3 percent, all hitting fresh multi-year highs.
“The disappointment on the U.S. jobs figures is prompting investors to rethink the scenario of a first rate hike in June, which is good news for the market,” Barclays France portfolio manager Philippe Cohen said.
“Now the focus is about to shift to the U.S. earnings season.”
Also boosting the mood on Tuesday, data showed manufacturing activity across the euro zone accelerated faster than previously thought last month, adding to signs the bloc’s economy is recovering.
Greek shares rose as investors welcomed a move over the weekend by Athens’ government to calm concerns that the country might default on a loan. Greece’s Athex index was 0.3 percent higher.
Bucking the trend, flag-carrying airlines, known by some analysts as “legacies”, Air France, IAG and Air France-KLM fell between 0.9 percent and 2.2 percent after downgrades by JP Morgan.
“We are realigning our European Airline ratings with a clear bias towards LCCs (low-cost carriers), which we believe offer superior risk/reward and continued growth potential while Legacies remain exposed to unrelenting Middle Eastern competition and suffer from stagnating margins,” the analysts wrote in a note.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Keith Weir)