LONDON (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, scoring their second week of gains as fears of a full-blown trade war were kept in check and optimism about the next corporate earnings season grew.
The pan-regional STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 percent supported by a broad range of sectors, from industrials to technology, bringing its weekly gain to 0.8 percent.
Euro zone stocks blue chips rose 0.3 percent.
UniCredit strategist Christian Stocker said the European equity markets had the potential to gain up to five percent over the next few weeks as the earnings outlook was strong.
“However, the further development of the US/China trade dispute is likely to remain a Sword of Damocles for the equity market,” he said in a note.
Altran Technologies tumbled 28 percent after the French technology consultancy said it had discovered a case of forged purchase orders within its recently acquired U.S. design and engineering services firm Aricent.
The forgery “relates to one individual, in his relation with one client” for an amount of $10 million, Altran said, adding that an investigation into Aricent’s internal control procedures had been launched.
British recruitment company Hays rose 8.6 percent rise after saying it expected full-year operating profit to exceed market expectations.
On the other hand, Switzerland’s GAM Holding fell about 15 percent as it said it would take an impairment charge of around 59 million Swiss francs ($59 million) related to its 2016 acquisition of British hedge fund Cantab Capital Partners.
Still in the financial sector, shares in Norwegian insurance group Gjensidige fell 10 percent after its second-quarter results disappointed.
Belgian telecom companies also suffered as the government considers allowing a fourth mobile phone operator to enter the market.
Telenet, Proximus and Orange Belgium fell 5.1 percent, 1.8 percent and 3.9 percent respectively.
($1 = 1.0037 Swiss francs)
Writing by Julien Ponthus and Danilo Masoni; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Susan Fenton, William Maclean