February 1, 2017 / 10:09 AM / 3 years ago

European shares snap losing streak on solid earnings, macro data

MILAN/LONDON (Reuters) - European shares snapped a three-day losing streak on Wednesday, led higher by miners and industrial stocks following solid corporate results and strong data from China and Europe.

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Staff/Remote

The pan-European STOXX index ended up 0.8 percent, after hitting a one-week low on Tuesday. Germany's DAX .GDAXI and France's CAC .FCHI added 1.1 and 1 percent respectively.

“Equity markets across the EU are stronger today on the back of a round of better than expected earnings, as well as rather better than anticipated China manufacturing data,” said Stephane Ekolo, chief European strategist at Market Securities in London.

“This should be enough, at least temporarily, to offset political uncertainties,” he said, adding that strong European data was also supportive.

French manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in nearly six years in January as demand firmed up, while German factory growth was the highest in three years, and Italy’s also increased, albeit at a slower pace.

Miners .SXPP were the biggest sectoral gainer, up 1.6 percent after data showed that activity in China’s manufacturing sector expanded slightly more than expected in January. China is a big metals consumer.

Volvo (VOLVb.ST) shares were among top European gainers, up 4.7 percent after the car maker substantially outperformed forecasts with a core profit of 5.66 billion Swedish crowns, and raised its forecast for the European truck market.

Shares in German industrial group Siemens (SIEGn.DE) hit their highest level since September 2000, after it raised its outlook, with industrial business profit jumping in the fiscal first quarter. Its shares ended up 5.6 percent.

“Siemens’ transformation is under way and we see little reason why the stock would not move more towards a sector multiple,” Liberum analysts said in a note, reiterating their ‘buy’ rating on the stock.

Industrials across Europe were buoyed by the manufacturing data, with materials firm Saint Gobain (SGOB.PA) and tire manufacturer Michelin (MICP.PA) among the top gainers in France’s CAC 40 index.

Finnish paper maker UPM-Kymmene UPM1V.HE was recovering from its biggest ever daily drop yesterday, up 6.3 percent, while Swedish oil company Lundin Petroleum (LUPE.ST) was up 2.9 percent after its fourth-quarter earnings beat consensus.

BBVA (BBVA.MC) was a weak spot. Its shares fell 1.4 percent after the Spanish bank warned of a tougher business environment in Mexico this year while its largest market adapts to the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Appliance maker Electrolux (ELUXb.ST) fell 2.1 percent after results disappointment.

Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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