February 23, 2018 / 8:40 AM / 6 months ago

European shares hit by disappointing updates; BT rallies

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MILAN, Feb 23 (Reuters) - European shares were little changed in early deals on Friday as investors digested a flurry of earnings updates, with French auto parts maker Valeo and Royal Bank of Scotland among the top fallers.

Valeo slumped 9 percent to a six-month low as its second-half profit fell on adverse exchange rates and raw material prices, while RBS declined 4 percent after posting its first full-year profit since 2007. Traders said the underlying result missed expectations.

Oil services firm Subsea 7 jumped 6.3 percent after news of joint venture talks with larger rival Schlumberger , and strength among telecoms stocks, which led sectoral gainers, up 1 percent.

Telecoms were lifted by a 3.1 percent rise in BT Group after Britain’s telecom regulator OFCOM detailed rules encouraging more fibre broadband investment — including a decision not to regulate wholesale prices of some superfast broadband products sold by its Openreach division.

The pan-European STOXX benchmark index was flat in percentage terms by 0817 GMT, while the UK’s FTSE dipped 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX was flat.

The STOXX is set to end the week flat as markets stabilise and volatility calms following a turbulent start of the month that sent the index to a near-six-month low. The STOXX is now 3.5 percent above that low. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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