* FTSEurofirst 300 up around 1 percent
* Volkswagen rises after activist investor move
* Miners top sectoral loser on weak China data
* Milan underperforms, led lower by Banco Popolare (ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development). Adds details, updates shares)
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Monday, bouncing back after two weeks of losses and supported by gains in crude oil prices and in the German stock market.
Oil prices rose on Monday after Canada’s most destructive wildfire in recent memory knocked out over a million barrels in daily production capacity.
The firmer oil price enabled the STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index to advance 0.1 percent.
The broader STOXX Europe 600 index and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index were both up by 1.1 percent.
“There’s a general improvement in risk sentiment, on the back of the higher oil price,” said Hantec Markets’ analyst Richard Perry.
Germany’s DAX outperformed with a 1.8 percent rise, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it had become slightly more optimistic regarding the German economy.
The German government last month stuck to its forecast of 1.7 percent for this year, despite a slowdown in emerging markets, with strong domestic demand replacing exports as the main pillar of Europe’s largest economy.
The DAX received a further boost from a 3.8 percent rise at carmaker Volkswagen, after activist investor TCI demanded the German carmaker overhaul its “excessive” executive pay scheme as part of a plan to boost profits and end years of what it called mismanagement.
Mining stocks underperformed the general market rally following disappointing data from China, a major metal consumer, with Anglo American falling 7.6 percent.
China’s exports and imports fell more than expected in April, underlining weak demand and cooling hopes of a recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.
Milan’s blue chip index also fell 0.7 percent, as shares in Banco Popolare slid amid expectations of weak first-quarter results and with its 1 billion euro cash call getting closer.
Greece’s stock market also gave up initial gains to trade lower as talks over how to deal with the country’s debt burden continued.
“The oil prices rally and the moderately positive developments in Greece are helping but uncertainty over the macro picture remains,” said ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto de Casa.
Today’s European research round-up
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan; Editing by Tom Heneghan)