July 17, 2017 / 7:33 AM / 2 months ago

Telenor, Weir Group lead European shares higher

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - European shares nudged higher in early deals on Monday, though trading was characterized by thin volumes as a busy few weeks of earnings reports from top regional and U.S. firms gets underway.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 percent, while the blue chips struggled to hold slim gains. Last week, European indices enjoyed their strongest week in more than two months as investors quickly bought the dip spurred by central banks turning slightly hawkish.

Second-quarter results season kicked off in the U.S. last Friday with numbers from Citigroup and JPMorgan.

Analysts are expecting earnings to grow 9 percent year-on-year for European firms, compared with 8 percent for the U.S., according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Updates from some Nordic firms spurred some sizeable moves, however, with shares in Norway’s Telenor jumping more than 7 percent. The telecoms firm raised its outlook for 2017 earnings margins after its operating results beat expectations.

Likewise shares in British engineer Weir Group rose 6.4 percent after it increased forecasts for its oil and gas units.

On the downside, shares in Swedish medical technology firm Getinge dropped nearly 7 percent after its second quarter core profits lagged forecasts.

While almost every sector was in positive territory, basic resources were the biggest gainers, up around 1 percent with miners Anglo American, Norsk Hydro and Glencore leading the charge higher after the price of copper hit a three-and-a-half month high following strong Chinese GDP figures, the world’s biggest consumer of metals.

Volatile trading continued for trouble UK midcap construction services firm Carillion which appointed EY to help with its strategic review. The stock, which has lost two-third of its value over the past week, rose 7 percent in early trades.

Reporting by Kit Rees, Editing by Vikram Subhedar

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