European shares rose on Wednesday after sharp declines in the previous session, with Italy's biggest insurer Generali gaining after committing to boost dividends and enzymes maker Novozymes advancing on a UBS upgrade.

Shares in Generali progressed by 2 percent after the company said it would pay cumulative dividends of more than 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) to the end of 2018, as it focuses on increasing cash generation and building a solid capital base.

Novozymes, the world's largest maker of industrial enzymes, also rose 2.8 percent after UBS raised its stance on the stock to "buy" from "sell".

At 0711 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,608.86 points after falling to a one-week low in the previous session.

Energy shares were also in demand, with the STOXX Europe 600 Oil and gas index rising 0.4 percent, as oil prices rebounded on expectations that U.S. crude stocks could fall for a fourth straight week. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)