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3 months ago
European shares recover at end of worst week in 6 months
May 19, 2017 / 8:47 AM / 3 months ago

European shares recover at end of worst week in 6 months

* STOXX set for 1.2 pct weekly fall

* Richemont stake buy buoys Dufry

* Hikma sinks on trimmed revenue target

* Greek bailout progress seen lifting stocks

* Brazil-exposed stock steady (Ads details, updates prices)

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, May 19 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, timidly recovering from heavy losses suffered this week after political turmoil fuelled worries over U.S. President Donald Trump's stimulus plans, denting appetite for riskier assets.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4 percent by 0823 GMT, but was down 1.2 percent on the week, its biggest weekly loss since early November. Britain's FTSE and euro zone blue chips were also up by around 0.4 percent.

While gains were spread across all sectors, financials - among the most hit by this week's sell-off - gave the biggest boost to the STOXX with heavyweight banks UBS, Banco Santander and UniCredit up between 0.6 and 1.4 percent.

Among the biggest movers was airport retailer Dufry , up 6.5 percent after luxury group Richemont bought a 5 percent stake in the company. Hikma shares fell 3.8 percent after the drugmaker trimmed its revenue forecast to account for the delay in its U.S. generic drug launch.

This week's losses have pulled the STOXX down from 21 month highs hit after a run driven by big inflows into Europe, solid economic data and surprisingly strong corporate earnings.

With 80 percent of European companies having reported so far, 65 percent of them have beaten expectations and 8 percent have met them, according to I/B/E/S data.

After the latest company updates, however, first-quarter earnings growth is seen at 19.4 percent, slightly below the over 20 percent previously forecast.

Easing fears about the euro zone's stability after the defeat of an eurosceptic candidate in the French presidential vote earlier this month also supported the recent rally.

On the same front, some investors welcomed the latest developments in Greece where lawmakers approved further austerity measures overnight, making more progress towards unlocking bailout funds.

"No doubt averting another Greek crisis or at least another stand- off between the Greek government and its creditors should help stocks," London Markets trader Markus Huber said.

Athens stocks were up 0.6 percent.

Elsewhere, companies with exposure to Brazil such as Casino , Telefonica and Telecom Italia steadied following losses in the previous session triggered after a bribery scandal hit the country's president, darkening the outlook for structural reforms there. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni)

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