* European shares bounce back
* STOXX up 0.8 percent
* German growth seen extending into 2018
* Banks, cyclicals post strong earnings (Adds stocks, prices)
By Julien Ponthus
LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - European shares rose in early deals on Wednesday, lifted by strong results and German economic data as traders positioned for potentially market-driving U.S. inflation numbers.
Data suggesting GDP in Europe's biggest economy was set to power ahead in 2018 came as Bridgewater Associates was reported to have taken short bets against titans of corporate Germany including Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE , Allianz ALVG.DE , and BASF BASFn.DE . pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX index was up 0.8 percent by 0915 GMT with most bourses and sectors in positive territory as a strong set of corporate results lifted shares.
The U.S. inflation data due later in the day could soothe, or inflame, the fears of faster U.S. rate hikes that triggered a sharp correction in equity markets earlier this month.
"Even a slightly higher number could set the cat among the pigeons given the late-cycle stimulus the Trump Administration is pumping into the U.S. economy," Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at CFD and FX provider AxiTrader, said.
Meanwhile, shares in French electrical parts distributor Rexel led the market higher, rising 8.2 percent and on track for their best day in two years after a well-received trading update.
Second was silicon wafer group Siltronic WAFGn.DE , up 6.6 after a positive note from Credit Suisse .
Shares in food packaging group Huhtamaki HUH1V.HE rose 6.4 percent after it released fourth quarter results, and Dutch food supplement maker DSMN.AS DSM jumped 4 percent after giving an upbeat outlook for 2018.
In the banking sector, Credit Suisse CSGN.S was a clear leader, up 3.1 percent, after it posted a third straight annual loss which was smaller than expected. bank Natixis CNAT.PA rose 0.2 percent after reporting an unexpected rise in quarterly net profit. Its French peer Credit Agricole CAGR.PA was down 1.9 percent after results.
Other French stocks were among the top performers with retirement home operator Orpea ORP.PA up 5.2 percent and heading for its best day in more than 18 months after reporting a solid outlook.
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