European shares rebound after two-day slide, autos lead
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.8 pct
* Auto shares get boost from positive Exane sector note
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) - European shares bounced back on Wednesday after sharp declines in the previous two sessions, with some investors clinging to hopes of progress in Greece even after it became the first advanced economy to default on a loan with the IMF.
European finance ministers will confer on Wednesday over Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' request for a new two-year loan to pay debts that amount to nearly 30 billion euros ($33.4 billion). French Finance Minister Michel Sapin also said France would still try to reach a goal with Greece before the Sunday referendum.
"There is hope that there could still be some talks over the next couple of days and things do not lead to a complete standstill, but the chances of a deal ahead of the weekend are certainly dim," Gerhard Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank in Munich.
"We will see some nervousness depending on the expectations regarding the outcome of the referendum."
The fate of Greece's membership in the 19-nation currency bloc hangs in the balance ahead of the referendum on Sunday when Greek citizens will vote on whether to accept the austerity terms of continued international aid. The International Monetary Fund confirmed that Greece had not made a scheduled 1.6 billion euro loan repayment.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 rose 0.8 percent after falling 1.3 percent in the previous session and slumping more than 4 percent on Monday. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.7 percent by 0806 GMT. Continuación...