Edinburgh - European shares rose on Monday, boosted by M&A activity in the pharmaceutical sector and rallying from near two-month lows to kick off the week on a positive foot after its biggest weekly loss in four months.

Leading shares higher was UK-listed pharmaceutical Shire, up 2.7 percent after it said it was ready to recommend a new offer from US firm AbbVie.

The new bid is is 53.20 pounds ($90.53) per share, after Reuters had reported on Saturday that Shire had asked AbbVie to sweeten its offer to close to 53 pounds per share in order for it to recommend the deal.

Shire rose to 50.33 pounds, an all-time high.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.3 percent to 1,356.55 by 09:06 SA time, having fallen 3 percent last week - its biggest drop since March.

Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo, which was at the centre of global market jitters late last week after the disclosure of financial irregularities at a web of family-held holding companies behind the lender, was up 1.3 percent.

The stock has fallen 37 percent in five days. - Reuters