* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 pct
* Metro shares gain on positive outlook
* Wincor Nixdorf surges on M&A news
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - European shares hit a five-week high on Monday, helped by positive news on names like Metro and Deutsche Bank and as better-than-predicted Chinese growth data and hopes of more stimulus there improved sentiment.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.4 percent to 1,441.19 points by 0812 GMT after rising to 1,446.91 points, the highest level since early September.
European stock index futures earlier indicated a slightly lower open for the market after data showed China’s economic growth dipped below 7 percent for the first time since the global financial crisis, hurt partly by cooling investment.
But analysts said that investors were looking at the positive side, with the growth numbers coming slightly better than forecasts and pressure on Beijing to further cut interest rates and take other measures to stoke activity.
“Figures out of China are mixed. However, at this point in time, news that is not exceptionally bad or deteriorating is probably perceived as good,” Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets, said. “Markets are in a more optimistic mood as more stimulus out of China is expected.”
China’s factory output in September rose 5.7 percent from a year ago, against forecasts for a 6 percent rise. September retail spending bucked the cooling trend, growing at an annual rate of 10.9 percent and beating a 10.8 percent forecast.
“There is quite some relief that the panic seen in July and August concerning a sharply slowing Chinese economy hasn’t materialised, instead it appears that the service sector was able to compensate for some of the slack seen in manufacturing,” said Markus Huber, senior analyst at Peregrine & Black.
German shares outperformed other major indexes, with Metro rising 3.6 percent, the top gainer in the FTSEurofirst 300 index, after saying it was optimistic about Christmas trading after like-for-like sales rose 1.3 percent in the final quarter of its fiscal year.
Deutsche Bank rose 3.2 percent after news that the lender is splitting its investment bank into two separate units and is removing three of its eight top executives as part of a broad strategic overhaul.
The Frankfurt DAX index was up 0.7 percent, while France’s CAC rose 0.3 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 index was down 0.1 percent.
Shares in Germany’s Wincor Nixdorf surged 15.7 percent as U.S. automated teller machine maker Diebold agreed to buy the company for 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion).
Miner Anglo American fell 4 percent, the top decliner in the FTSEurofirst 300 index, on a cut in its target price by HSBC and concerns about metals demand in top consumer China.
The European mining index fell 1.3 percent, tracking a decline in prices of major industrial metals.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
Editing by Catherine Evans