European shares inch higher as Alstom supports tie-up with Siemens
European shares rose in early trade on Monday, with France's Alstom rallying after Germany said it would support a tie-up with Siemens.
At 0708 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,357.98 points.
Shares in Alstom - which is reviewing a bid by U.S. giant General Electric for its energy activities - were up 2.1 percent after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that the German government would support a tie-up between Siemens and Alstom if the companies decided that it made sense.
Miners were also on the rise, climbing along with metal prices, with Rio Tinto up 2.5 percent and BHP Billiton up 1.5 percent.
The market's gains were seen as being limited, however, by tensions in Ukraine following Sunday's referendum in eastern provinces.
About 40 European blue-chips derive more than 5 percent of their revenues from the Russian market, including Austria's Raiffeisen Bank and Finnish tyre maker Nokian Renkaat , which respectively generate 26 percent and 21 percent of their revenues in Russia, according to data from MSCI.