European shares sharply higher led by banks, French telecoms
* FTSEurofirst 300 rises 2.6 percent
* Big banks among top gainers as sector rebounds
* French telecoms rally as M&A talk heats up (Adds details, quote)
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, Feb 15 (Reuters) - European shares were sharply higher on Monday, with a rebound in banking stocks and sharp gains among French telecoms stocks on M&A expectations underpinning the market.
The strong performance for European equities come after gains in Asia where the Nikkei surged more than 7 percent and a firmer yuan eased devaluation concerns.
By 0933 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 2.6 percent, after gaining 3 percent on Friday, while the euro zone's blue chip Eurostoxx 50 index was also up by 2.9 percent.
In spite of the rebound, the FTSEurofirst remains down around 12 percent so far this year because of worries over a global economic slowdown and concerns surrounding the health of Europe's banking sector.
"It's no surprise to see markets rebounding after excessive movements seen in the last few weeks," said Riccardo Ambrosetti, chairman of Italy's Ambrosetti Asset Management. "European equities have been particularly hit and we expect a faster recovery for battered financial stocks." Continuación...