* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct at 1,102.14 points
* Euro STOXX 50 rises 0.6 pct to 2,494.06 points
* Worries over weak economy and euro zone persists
* Some traders looking to sell shares on back of rebound
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Nov 8 Reassuring earnings from major
companies including Siemens helped European stock
markets rebound on Thursday, although gains were seen limited by
fresh signs that the region's economy remains weak.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index edged up by 0.3 percent
to 1,102.14 points by around midday, having fallen 1.4 percent
during the previous session.
The euro zone's Euro STOXX 50 index also rose by
0.6 percent to 2,494.06 points.
German engineering conglomerate Siemens added the
most points to the FTSEurofirst 300 index, after it reported a
smaller-than-expected fall in profits and unveiled planned cost
savings of 6 billion euros ($7.7 billion).
"There was a big rout yesterday but we seem to have put a
stop to that for the time being," said Central Markets senior
trader Joe Neighbour.
However, Neighbour said he was adopting a cautious approach
due to the persistently weak economic backdrop, and would look
to book profits by selling shares on signs of rallies.
Neighbour bought a position on Germany's DAX at
7,240 points on Wednesday but then later sold it at 7,265
points. The DAX was up 0.5 percent at 7,270.44 points.
"I'm still on the bearish side and I would look to sell into
strength," he said.
EARNINGS REASSURE DESPITE LOWER PROFITS
Europe's economic problems were highlighted again on
Thursday by data showing that German exports had fallen at their
fastest pace since December 2011.
Gekko Global Markets sales trader Anita Paluch cautioned
that the economic backdrop remained gloomy, with Spain still
under pressure to accept a sovereign bailout while Greece is
struggling to meet the terms of its own rescue deal.
"We are having a reality check right now," she said.
Yet while the FTSEurofirst 300 index has slipped back from a
2012 peak of 1,122.76 points in mid-September, it remains up by
some 8 percent since late July.
This was when equity markets rallied after European Central
Bank (ECB) head Mario Draghi pledged to do "whatever it takes"
to protect the euro from Europe's sovereign debt crisis.
Reassuring third-quarter results have also supported
European equities over the last month.
Reinsurer Swiss Re also beat market forecasts
with its third-quarter results, and the company further
encouraged investors with the promise of a special dividend.
"We really like Swiss Re and its promise of the special
dividend. After such a sharp sell-off in the previous session,
the bargain-hunters are coming back in," said MB Capital trading
director Marcus Bullus.
According to Thomson Reuters Starmine data, 56 percent of
companies on the STOXX Europe 600 index to have
reported third-quarter earnings have met or beaten market
expectations for them.
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