Earnings, deal talk drive European share rebound, DAX stands out

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 28, 2017 23:00 hrs

* STOXX 600 up 0.6 pct

* Auto stocks help lift DAX near 2 year high

* Tenaris rallies as CEO turns bullish on oil tubes market

* Wolseley hits near 10-yr high on strong results

* EDP gains on plan to buy out renewables subsidiary (Adds details, closing prices)

By Helen Reid

LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - European shares staged a recovery on Tuesday, lifted by strong results and the prospect of deal-making.

The STOXX 600 ended up 0.6 percent, with rumours of stake sales moving individual stocks, while criticism of Tesco's takeover of Booker dented the wholesaler's shares.

The pan-European index was driven higher late by Wall Street's move into positive territory following strong consumer data.

Basic resource stocks led sectoral gainers, up 1.7 percent, on the back of rising copper prices and after suffering their worst daily losses in more than four months on Monday.

Auto stocks also rose sharply, up 1.6 percent, with gains in Continental and Volkswagen helping Germany's DAX index end at its highest since April 2015, with a 1.3 percent rise.

Tenaris was a stand out among the gainers, with investors citing comments from the group's chief executive Paolo Rocca who raised forecasts for the oil and gas tubes market, fuelling talk of possible earnings upgrades.

Wolseley was another top European gainer, up 5.1 percent after posting a 25 percent rise in profit for its first half, driven by strong growth in the United States.

Portuguese oil company EDP rose 4.2 percent after it said it would buy the rest of its renewable energy subsidiary EDP Renovaveis.

Portugal's largest company also agreed the sale of its Spanish gas distribution network Naturgas to Nature Investments, a special purpose vehicle owned by a consortium of institutional investors.

EDPR jumped 10.1 percent on the news, helping Portugal's stock index outperform European peers, up 2.7 percent.

Dufry, the Swiss airport retailer, gained 3.5 percent after a report said Chinese conglomerate HNA was in talks to buy a stake, a move which would extend Dufry's reach in China.

Banco Popular was up 3.2 percent after a Spanish newspaper report said the bank's new head Emilio Saracho was in talks to sell the lender's property portfolio and a stake to Libra Group.

Both declined to comment.

Credit Agricole, meanwhile, rose 3.8 percent, to the top of France's blue-chip index after Barclays switched its preference to it from Societe Generale.

Among the fallers, Recordati fell 0.9 percent after Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the stock to "sell".

The Italian pharmaceuticals company's premium to peers is excessive, Goldman analysts said, given a slightly more risky research and development profile due to early-stage clinical partnerships, and their belief that mergers and acquisitions could be less pronounced ahead.

Recordati plans around 40 percent of sales growth to come from reinvestment in M&A in 2017-2019. But Goldman said the company's market capitalisation of 6.6 billion euros made it harder for bolt-on acquisitions to move the needle.

Wholesaler Booker was also among top fallers, down 0.9 percent after two major Tesco shareholders opposed a $4.7 billion takeover deal by the retailer, saying it would destroy value.

Tesco's CEO said he was "completely committed" to the deal. (Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Ed Osmond and Alexander Smith)

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