March 14, 2018 / 8:35 AM / 4 months ago

Adidas boost and strong miners keep European shares afloat

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LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - In the face of a fresh protectionist move from the U.S. causing Asian shares to fall overnight, European stocks managed a slight gain on Wednesday thanks to strong results from Adidas and robust mining stocks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.2 percent, pushed higher by consumer staples and basic materials. Spain’s IBEX lagged peers, down 0.5 percent after disappointing results from Zara fashion chain owner Inditex.

German sports fashion company Adidas shone at the top of the STOXX, jumping 8.8 percent after announcing a share buyback of up to 3 billion euros and lifting its 2020 profitability target.

Technology stocks were the biggest drags on the index after U.S. President Trump threatened to impost tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports, targeting tech and telecommunications in particular.

Basic resource stocks climbed 1.1 percent after data showed Chinese industrial production expanded at a much faster pace than expected.

UK insurer Prudential was another notable gainer, up 5 percent as investors cheered its plan to spin off its UK and European business, which will be listed on the FTSE 100 in its own right.

Zara owner Inditex was the top Spanish faller, down 5.1 percent after its results. Analysts at Berenberg said sales data showed online penetration was much lower than forecast.

Shares in Belgian postal service Bpost dropped 19 percent after fourth-quarter results missed expectations. (Reporting by Helen Reid editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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