London - Gains at drinks group Heineken and French bank Societe Generale lifted European shares on Wednesday, while strong Chinese trade data also gave global equities a fillip.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose for a sixth straight session to stand 0.3 percent higher at 1,321.82 points in early session trading.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also gained 0.3 percent.
Heineken rose 2.6 percent after it forecast a return to revenue growth this year, while SocGen also rose more than 2 percent after it swung back to a profit.
Mining stocks were the sectoral outperformer, however, after the strong data from China, the world's biggest consumer of metals.
Many investors have expressed concerns about a possible economic slowdown in China, but data on Wednesday showed the value of its imports and exports climbed around 10 percent last month from a year ago and beat expectations. - Reuters