European shares climb at opening; tech stocks shine

Published: May 02, 2018 16:22:36 | Updated: May 04, 2018 09:56:40

European shares climbed at the opening session on Wednesday, boosted by some strong earnings updates and a rising tech sector after results from Apple exceeded weak expectations.

The markets rose as the investors’ focus turned to euro zone GDP figures and the US Fed meeting.

Shares in AMS jumped 8.1 per cent after Apple surprised the market with solid iPhone X sales, confounding fears of a much weaker performance.

Apple shares were up 3.6 per cent in pre-market trading by 0835 GMT, reports Reuters.

Other chipmakers STMicroelectronics, Infineon, BE Semiconductor and ASML also gained 1.1 to 3.8 per cent after the tech giant’s results helped sentiment on the sector.

Europe’s tech sector rose 1.1 per cent to a six-week high.

It helped the pan-European STOXX 600 climb 0.6 per cent, reaching its highest level since Feb 5 in early deals as investors awaited GDP data for the euro zone at 0900 GMT, and the US Federal Reserve meeting later in the day.

Mining stocks jumped 2.1 per cent, providing the bedrock for Europe’s gains as copper prices recovered on strong China factory data.

Broadly strong earnings have been the main engine of the European index in recent weeks.

Thomson Reuters data showed that so far earnings growth for the euro zone MSCI EMU index was down 1.3 per cent for the first quarter, while MSCI Europe companies have reported 0.5 per cent earnings growth.

Earnings for the Europe-wide index have delivered a 1.2 per cent surprise thus far, meaning results have outperformed analysts’ expectations. Deutsche Bank strategists said results beats were set to increase.

Shares in Swedish oil firm Lundin Petroleum rose 5.1 per cent after it became the latest European oil company to beat earnings expectations, helped by higher output.

Danish hearing aid company GN Store Nord gained 5.3 per cent after announcing a 1 billion Danish krone share buyback and beating profit expectations.

British online grocer Ocado pared gains to trade up 1.3 per cent, having earlier jumped 5.2 per cent after it signed a partnership deal with Swedish grocer ICA to develop its online business.

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