February 1, 2018 / 8:48 AM / 3 months ago

Earnings help European stocks snap three-day losing streak

MILAN, Feb 1 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Thursday following three days of losses, supported by a flurry of mostly positive results and gains by banks after the U.S. Federal Reserve flagged higher interest rates later this year.

Oil major Shell fell on disappointing fourth-quarter cashflow and insulin maker Novo Nordisk declined after its chairman quit and it reported operating profit below expectations.

But several other big European companies, from Nokia to Roche, Unilever and Dassault Systemes, were up after their profit updates, helping the pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark index rise 0.45 percent by 0814 GMT.

The UK’s FTSE was flat while Germany’s DAX rose 0.35 percent.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve flagged interest policy tightening later this year and upgraded its inflation outlook at its policy meeting, its first in 2018 and last to be chaired by Janet Yellen.

Equities, which have rallied sharply since the start of 2018, face a major test later on Thursday when three U.S. tech giants, Apple, Google parent Alphabet and Amazon.com, all announce earnings.

Most European sectors were trading in positive territory with tech stocks and banks leading gainers, both up around 1 percent, while healthcare stocks dipped 0.1 percent, weighed down by a 4 percent drop in Novo.

There was little cheer for Danish telecoms operator TDC’s decision to buy Swedish Modern Times Group’s broadcasting and entertainment business in a $2.48 billion deal. TDC slumped 11 percent, the biggest faller on the Stoxx 600 index. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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