* FTSEurofirst 300 index up 1.5 pct
* Retail shares, SAP up on positive updates
* EDF drops after report over nuclear waste (Adds details, updates prices)
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - European shares rose sharply on Tuesday following four straight sessions of declines, helped by a rally in retailers and solid updates from companies in other sectors such as SAP and GEA.
Shares in Metro rose 4.4 percent after the retailer said it had a “very good Christmas business” in Germany, with like-for-like sales up 2.1 percent..
British retailers Tesco, Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer advanced 1.6 to 6.7 percent, Debenhams gained 17 percent and Morrisons rose 8 percent after trading updates and industry sales figures.
Morrisons, Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket group, beat expectations for Christmas trading, reporting sales during the holidays rose for the first since 2012.
“At least on a temporary basis, Morrisons seems to have shaken off some of its relegation form and the share price has reacted accordingly,” Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
UK’s second-largest department store chain, Debenhams, also posted higher-than-expected sales in the last 19 weeks, driven by strong Christmas trading and growing online shopping .
The FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 1.5 percent at 5,962.92 by 1124 GMT, recovering from an intra-day low of 1,331.42, its lowest since late September.
Solid updates also lifted shares in Europe’s largest software maker SAP and German food-processing technology group GEA. Both traded up by more 6.8 percent and 7.9 percent.
However, market sentiment remained fragile, amid further turbulence in Chinese markets and concern about the pace of economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
China’s equity markets, which tumbled 10 percent last week and a further 5 percent on Monday, remained volatile. The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.2 percent and the CSI300 index rose 0.7 percent after moving in and out of negative territory.
Utilities underpeformed and were up 0.1 percent. France’s EDF fell 4 percent to a fresh record low following after Exane and Deutsche Bank cut their price targets while Bryan Garnier cited concerns over future cash flows sparked by a report from French agency Andra over costs to manage radioactive waste. (Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan, Editing by Larry King)