* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 pct, bounces after Monday’s losses
* Saipem, Salzgitter slide as Russia scraps pipeline project
* Positive impact seen from lower energy prices
By Blaise Robinson and Sudip Kar-Gupta
PARIS/LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - European share market indexes rose on Tuesday, helped by a rebound in energy stocks after crude oil prices bounced up from the five-year lows hit on Monday.
BP featured among the top gainers, up 3.6 percent, with several traders citing market talk of a takeover bid from rival Royal Dutch Shell. Shell declined to comment, while no one at BP was available for comment.
With the price of crude oil tumbling, merger deals in the oil and gas sector have hit $369 billion so far this year, a rate not seen on records going back to the 1970s, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Shares in Italian oil services group Saipem and German steelmaker Salzgitter bucked the trend, tumbling 8.6 percent and 8 percent respectively after Russia scrapped its $40 billion-euro South Stream European gas export pipeline project, which involved the two firms.
At 1520 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,392.35 points.
Total, Repsol and Royal Dutch Shell were all up by between 1.7 and 2.9 percent, while the the STOXX Europe 600 energy sector index was up 2.3 percent. However, the index is still down nearly 22 percent since June, hurt by a slump in oil prices, with shares of oil services firms the worst hit.
“The oil services sector has come down massively due to a lack of capex from the oil majors,” said Caroline Vincent, European equities fund manager at Cavendish Asset Management.
“If you try and call the bottom to the sector now, it’s too risky. It’s like trying to catch a falling knife.”
Britain’s FTSE 100 index was up 1 percent and France’s CAC 40 up 0.2 percent.
Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2 percent. The index hit 10,000 points earlier in the session, but failed to cross above a record high of 10,050.98 points reached in June, triggering profit taking, traders said.
Despite the recent losses in the energy sector, fund managers and equity strategists see a positive long-term impact for global growth from the slump in oil prices.
“For each drop of $10 in oil prices, the impact on growth for developed economies on average is 0.2 percent,” said Mathieu L‘Hoir, strategist at AXA Investment Managers, which has 607 billion euros ($753 billion) in assets under management.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Greg Mahlich)