* FTSEurofirst 300 up 1 pct after eurozone consumer prices fall
* Expected ECB action positive for equities -HSBC strategist
* Greek shares fall as bond yields rise above 10 percent
By Francesco Canepa and Lionel Laurent
LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday, halting a three-day slide, after a bigger-than-expected drop in euro zone inflation was seen as likely to trigger a long-awaited bond-buying scheme by the European Central Bank to spur growth.
Euro zone consumer prices fell 0.2 percent in December compared with the same month the previous year, a first estimate by the European statistic office showed. The last time euro zone inflation was negative was in October 2009.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 share index was up 1 percent at 1118 GMT, with nearly all major national benchmark indexes in positive territory.
“We don’t think investors should fight the ECB,” said Robert Parkes, a strategist at HSBC. “We think they will deliver quantitative easing (bond-buying) in the first quarter, and that will offer support to European stocks.”
There was little apparent reaction to news of a shooting at the Paris offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in which at least 11 people have been reported killed.
Shares of French building and concessions group Vinci were up 4.8 percent after French daily Les Echos said talks between the French government and motorway operators over toll-roads were making progress and a deal could be reached by Jan. 15.
Airbus rose more than 3 percent. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday the aerospace company beat U.S. rival Boeing in aircraft orders in 2014, maintaining a lead in new business despite lagging in deliveries.
The Athens ATG index was a notable outlier, down 2.2 percent, with lingering fears over upcoming elections in Greece pushing benchmark bond yields above 10 percent.
Shares in UK retailer Sainsbury’s reversed early gains and slipped into negative territory after the group reported a better than expected performance in the Christmas quarter. Traders highlighted the retailer’s caution about prospects for its full financial year.
Further supporting sentiment on European retailers, German retail sales rose one percent in November, beating expectations for a flat reading, data from Germany’s Federal Statistics office showed on Wednesday.
Portugal Telecom fell more than 10 percent to all-time lows on Wednesday, a day after the Portuguese Prosecutor General’s office said it had conducted searches of the company’s offices.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Hugh Lawson)