LONDON Jan 31 European shares managed slight gains on Thursday as the earnings season got underway in earnest, with Ericsson a strong gainer early on as investors cheered its fourth-quarter results.
Ericsson surged 10.2 percent in early trade after unveiling higher-than-expected fourth-quarter core profit and revenue growth, raising hopes the world's top mobile telecom gear maker is beginning to shake off the global downturn.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.1 percent at 1,172.11 points by 0809 GMT, having dropped 0.6 percent in the previous session, with the index on course to round off January in solid fashion having notched up a more than 3 percent gain for the month.
"January has been an exceptionally strong month with especially retail money finally leaving cash and the bond markets and flowing into equities. Normally when January does well, so does the whole year so I remain positive," Lex van Dam, hedge fund manager at Hampstead Capital, which manages around $500 million of assets.
The Pentagon releases photographs linked to allegations of abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.