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Euro shares rise on strong earnings

Tuesday, May 13 12:29:15

European stocks rose today, with a number of benchmarks hitting multi-year highs, boosted by upbeat company results and a report saying Germany's central bank is ready to back new stimulus measures from the European Central Bank.

Airbus Group surged 6.7 percent in a relief rally after it reported better-than-expected profits and said its latest jetliner, the A350, was "progressing towards certification" in time for first delivery by the end of the year.

Shares in ThyssenKrupp also surged, up 4.4 percent after the German steelmaker posted its first quarterly net profit in two years, beating analyst estimates, and raised its forecast for full-year operating profit.

Roughly three quarters of the way into the European earnings season, STOXX 600 companies have posted on average a 2.5 percent rise in profits and a 0.7 percent rise in revenues, according to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine, fuelling hopes of a long-awaited rebound in corporate profits this year.

"This first-quarter earnings season reflects the recovery in the macroeconomic landscape and, although it's moderate, the negative currency impact seems lower than in the previous quarter," said Joffrey Ouafqa, fund manager at Convictions AM, in Paris.

"If the macro recovery is confirmed, company results and share prices will follow. That's what the market needs at this point because stocks are trading at fair value now."

At 1052 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,367.17 points, a level not seen since May 2008, while the UK's FTSE 100 hit a 14-year high.

Traders said market sentiment was in part lifted by a report from Dow Jones saying Germany's Bundesbank would back a rate cut, if needed, by the European Central Bank, as well as other measures such as negative rates on bank deposits and purchases of packaged bank loans to keep inflation from staying too low.