* FTSEurofirst 300 index hits 1-month high
* LSE shares surge on possible counter-offer
* Barclays slumps after fall in profits
* Autos led by BMW, Glencore underperforms miners (Adds details, updates prices)
By Danilo Masoni and Atul Prakash
MILAN/LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Tuesday, with exchange operator London Stock Exchange (LSE) boosted by speculation of a possible bidding war and auto stocks helped by continued weakness in the euro.
Shares in LSE rose 8 percent after U.S. rival ICE said it was considering making an offer for the group, a move that could derail Deutsche Boerse potential tie-up with the British company. Deutsche Boerse was little changed.
“With ICE now also being interested, it looks ... more likely for a deal to be done,” said Charles Hanover Investments partner Dafydd Davies.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.9 percent to a one-month high by 1153 GMT, while the euro zone’s blue chip index Eurostoxx 50 was up 1 percent.
Auto stocks were the biggest sectoral gainer, up 2.1 percent, after the euro hit a one month low against the dollar. Expectations grew of more stimulus from the European Central Bank following a weak euro zone manufacturing survey. .
“The market and auto stocks are supported by the lower euro,” said Stefan de Schutter, trader at Alpha Trading, in Frankfurt, adding that newsflow from the Geneva car show also helped.
The sector benefits from a weaker euro because that makes exports cheaper. BMW was up 3.5 percent, Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler <FCHA.MI, were up 2.6 and 3.5 percent respectively, while Volkswagen added 1.4 percent.
Earlier in the day, the market got support after activity in China’s manufacturing sector shrank more sharply than expected in February, raising hopes that authorities in Beijing would announce further stimulus measures.
Miners were among the top sectoral gainers as prices of industrial metals recovered. But Glencore underperformed after reporting $5.8 billion of charges, mostly impairments following a slide in commodity prices, and a 32 percent fall in 2015 core profit.
Its shares fell 2.6 percent with traders linking the fall to some profit taking after a recent strong run, as well as to management comments surrounding the urgency of asset sales to cut debt.
Barclays fell 10 percent after reporting a 2 percent fall in full-year pre-tax profit. (Additional reporting by Kit Rees in London; editing by Jeremy Gaunt)