* Germany’s DAX share index up 0.8 pct
* Syngenta gains on M&A report
* UK market closed
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - Germany’s benchmark share index climbed higher in morning trading on Monday after a survey showed that German manufacturing continued to expand.
Markit’s purchasing manager’s index for manufacturing, which accounts for about a fifth of the German economy, fell to 52.1 from 52.8 in March, but stayed above the 50 line separating growth from contraction for a fifth straight month. The final reading topped a preliminary estimate of 51.9.
“The German data shows that the manufacturing activity is still expanding and concerns that a recent rise in the euro would hurt German companies are definitely overdone. The German economic growth has been solid and gives support to the stock market,” Christian Stocker, strategist at UniCredit, said.
“I think the majority of analysts will be revising their 2015-16 earnings forecasts higher during the next six months,” he added.
Germany’s DAX share index was up 0.8 percent at 0848 GMT. Many major European markets had closed on Friday for the May Day holiday. The UK market, which was open on Friday, was shut on Monday.
The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index index was up 0.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 was 0.3 percent stronger.
Switzerland’s Syngenta rose 8.8 percent after Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, had again made an offer to buy the company.
Investors’ focus this week will be on the UK national election on Thursday. The latest polls show neither of the major parties is likely to win a clear majority of seats.
Greek shares stayed choppy, with the ATG share index falling more than 2 percent in early trading, following lingering concerns about the country’s debt situation, before recovering. It was last up 0.5 percent.
Greece’s labour minister said on Monday that the country intends to meet debt payments this month and reach a deal with its international lenders to unlock remaining bailout aid, but the International Monetary Fund insists on tough labour reforms.
Struggling amid a cash crunch, Athens faces debt repayments to the IMF totalling nearly 1.0 billion euros this month and has been borrowing from municipalities and government entities to meet obligations.
Editing by Andrew Heavens