April 1, 2014 / 7:11 AM / 4 years ago

M&A boost helps European shares make good start to Q2

LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) - European stocks made a positive start to the second quarter of the year on Tuesday, with mergers & acquisition activity and expectations helping drive gains in industrial and mining stocks.

French turbine and train maker Alstom was the top performer in Europe after unveiling a deal to sell its heat exchange unit to German private equity group Triton.

Investors also welcomed plans by global miner BHP Billiton to weigh options to simplify its portfolio of assets, including a possible spin-off of unwanted businesses. Its shares were up 2.1 percent.

The stocks were among the top risers on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which was up 0.4 percent at 1,339.42 points, also underpinned by expectations of continued economic stimulus from U.S. and Chinese authorities. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Alistair Smout)

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