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European shares inch higher, masking big moves from Adidas, EDF
March 8, 2017 / 8:44 AM / 9 months ago

European shares inch higher, masking big moves from Adidas, EDF

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday, with results-driven gains from German sportswear company Adidas and British security company G4S partly offset by losses from EDF and Boskalis.

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Staff/Remote

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.1 percent, ending four straight days of losses. UK's FTSE .FTSE closed 0.1 percent lower after Britain's budget statement delivered few surprises.

As earnings season builds momentum, figures show 54.9 percent of European companies have so beaten estimates, better than the quarterly average since 2011.

Adidas (ADSGn.DE) rose 9.4 percent to a record high. It increased sales and profit growth targets, after posting a 12.5 percent increase in 2016 sales.

The German sportswear company’s shares have gained 65 percent over the past year while U.S. competitor Nike has dropped 3 percent.

British security company G4S (GFS.L) was another top gainer, up 8 percent after it reported a cut in leverage and its first rise in revenue in four years.

British satellite company Inmarsat (ISA.L) rose 8.6 percent after a 9.5 percent gain in earnings. Investors shrugged off the firm’s cautious outlook for the next two years.

Inmarsat had seen shorting of its stock increase before releasing its earnings, Markit figures showed.

French state-owned utility EDF (EDF.PA) fell 8 percent to a record low after the French government sold 231 million preferential shares in the company as part of a capital increase.

    EDF dragged the utilities index .SX6P lower. Utilities have shown the lowest earnings growth rate of any sector this season, with growth down 14.9 percent, I/B/E/S data showed.

    Dutch marine construction company Boskalis (BOSN.AS) dropped 3.9 percent after it reported its first yearly loss in two decades on one-off charges.

    Swiss security company Dormakaba (DOKA.S) fell 4 percent after results. Vontobel analysts said despite solid first-half results, consensus expectations were not likely to increase in the face of rising negative FX effects.

    Oil companies were the top sectoral fallers .SXEP, tracking global crude prices lower.

    Banks were .SX7P in demand, up 1 percent, mirroring gains by their U.S. peers after a better-than-expected jobs report cemented expectations for a U.S. rate increase next week.

    Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Larry King

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