* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 pct
* Telenor, TeliaSonera rally after deal to merge units
* Metro, Adidas sink on worries over exposure to rouble
By Blaise Robinson and Francesco Canepa
PARIS/LONDON, Dec 3 (Reuters) - European stocks rose on Wednesday, led by Nordic exchanges after Norway’s Telenor and Sweden’s TeliaSonera agreed to merge their Danish operations.
Shares in both companies and in rivals TDC and Tele2 rose 1.2 to 5 percent. The deal is fuelling speculation cut-throat price competition in the Danish market will end.
Indexes in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm rose 0.7 percent to 0.8 percent at 1153 GMT. They outperformed the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares, which was up 0.4 percent at 1,398.08 points.
The FTSEurofirst 300 has rebounded from its mid-October low, boosted by expectations of fresh stimulus from the European Central Bank, but the rally has lost steam in the past week.
According to euro money market traders polled by Reuters, the ECB probably won’t announce new stimulus measures at Thursday’s monetary policy meeting.
Despite heavy price discounting, euro zone business activity grew less than expected last month, a survey showed on Wednesday, suggesting the region’s economy may contract again early next year.
“The bias remains bullish, but there isn’t a strong catalyst to help fuel the rally at the moment. This could change with the ECB tomorrow,” Saxo Bank trader Andrea Tueni said.
“Draghi would please investors with some sort of timetable for quantitative easing, but even if he just repeats the ECB’s strong commitment to act, it could be enough to spark a Santa Claus rally.”
Shares in Germans sportswear company Adidas AG and food retailer Metro featured among the top losers, hurt by worries over their exposure to Russia as the rouble continued its slide.
Metro was down 5.8 percent after JPMorgan downgraded the stock to ‘underweight’ from ‘neutral’, citing Russia. Adidas was down 2.7 percent after Barclays analysts downgraded the stock to ‘equal weight’ from ‘overweight’, pointing to high exposure to the rouble.
European shares briefly pared their gains during midday trading on Wednesday. Traders cited the announcement of a nuclear accident at a power plant in Ukraine. (Editing by Larry King)