MILAN Feb 3 Some well-received company updates
helped European shares inch higher in early deals on Friday but
the key pan-regional benchmark index remained on track to end
the week with a fall.
The STOXX 600 was up 0.4 percent by 0812 GMT, with
the consumer staples and healthcare sectors proving the biggest
early lift though basic resources lagged on weaker metals.
The index is down 0.8 percent so far this week and flat over
the past month as caution about the impact of U.S. President
Donald Trump's policies has halted the rally in risky assets.
Top gainer on the STOXX index was Beazley after the
British insurer reported a stronger than expected rise in
full-year pretax profit.
Well-received results also boosted shares in Sweden's Hexpol
and Skanska, while Spain's Banco Popular
fell more than 5 percent after positing a record loss.
Intesa Sanpaolo rose 1 percent, recovering part of
recent losses after the bank denied it was preparing an
all-share offer for Generali.
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)