April 15 (Reuters) - European shares inched up on Monday, with defence stocks among top gainers, as investors assessed the wider implications of escalating tensions in the Middle East, while optimism around imminent interest rate cuts also aided sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.1%, led by the defence sector that was up 0.6% by 0713 GMT, after Iran launched explosive drones and missiles at Israel over the weekend in retaliation for a suspected Israeli attack on its consulate in Syria on April 1.

Among top movers, Temenos jumped 15.6% after the Swiss software firm said a "special committee" formed by its board found that accusations in a report by Hindenburg Research were incorrect and misleading.

Ageas climbed 3.6% as France's BNP Paribas said it had reached an agreement with China's Fosun Group to acquire its 9% stake in the Belgian insurer for around 730 million euros ($777.60 million).

Adidas rose 3.5% after brokerage Morgan Stanley double-upgraded the German sportswear maker to "overweight" from "underweight". ($1 = 0.9388 euros) (Reporting by Ozan Ergenay and Johann M Cherian; Editing by Sohini Goswami)