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Upbeat German data lifts European shares; Puma, AstraZeneca weigh

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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

Feb 24 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday, supported by stronger-than-expected growth in Germany's economy, although concerns over a possible rise in inflation and lofty equity valuations kept gains in check.

Bullish exports and solid construction activity helped the German economy to grow by a stronger-than-expected 0.3% in the final quarter of last year, official data showed.

The benchmark euro-zone stock index STOXX 600 rose 0.2%, with travel and construction stocks leading gains.

AstraZeneca fell 1.3% after it told the European Union that it expects to deliver less than half the COVID-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply in the second quarter, an EU official told Reuters.

German sportswear company Puma dropped nearly 4% to the bottom of the STOXX 600 after saying it expects a heavy impact on its results from pandemic lockdowns through the end of the second quarter. (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)