* FTSEurofirst 300 index rises 1.1 percent
* Greek shares bounce back
* Merkel sees Greek commitment to resolving debt issues
* Daimler and BMW lift auto stocks
* Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
* Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, June 11 (Reuters) - European shares climbed on Thursday, with auto makers rising on encouraging company updates and Greek shares rebounding amid renewed hopes for a solution to its debt problems.
The STOXX Europe 600 Automobile & Auto Parts index rose 1.3 percent, outperforming a 1.1 percent advance on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index.
An 1.8 percent gain by Daimler led auto shares higher. Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said booming sales of high-margin sports utility vehicles would give it a better second quarter. French carmaker Peugeot rose on speculation it could be a target for rival Fiat.
Energy group Galp Energia advanced after being included in the WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity ETF fund .
Greek shares rallied 8.2 percent, rebounding from a 1.1 percent decline in the previous session. Greece’s banking index surged 17.5 percent.
The gains came as German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Greece had told its European partners it was committed to talks with creditors to solve all open issues. Greece will default at the end of June without fresh funds to repay 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the International Monetary Fund.
Athens’ main ATG index remains down by 0.3 percent since the start of 2015, underperforming a 15 percent rise on the FTSEurofirst.
Gijs Nagel, director at European brokerage DEGIRO, said some investors were concerned by how Greece’s debt talks were dragging on, and by jitters in the bond market that have pushed equity markets off their 2015 highs.
However, ActivTrades’ Ricardo Evangelista said others were encouraged by the situation with Greece, with many investors still expecting Greece to stay within the euro zone.
“Some analysts are now inclined to consider the possibility of an agreement being reached between Greece its creditors within the next few days,” said Evangelista.
Across Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 1.5 percent and France’s CAC advanced 1.7 percent. The DAX remains up around 17 percent since the start of 2015, but 8 percent below record highs hit in April.
“I think we’re stuck in a sideways pattern over the next few months, but within the context of a longer-term bull market. I don’t think we’ll have highs above those of April, but equally the lows will not be as low as the ones at the start of the year,” said Andreas Clenow, hedge fund trader and principal at ACIES Asset Management. ($1 = 0.8900 euros)
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Larry King)