European shares were mostly flat at the opening on Friday, holding near one-month highs at the end of a week laden with geopolitical worries, while results disappointments drove some sharp moves.
The STOXX 600 was on track for its third straight week of gains, its longest winning streak since January, as investors shrugged off geopolitical concerns to focus instead on a results season expected to support equity markets, reports Reuters.
The beginnings of European companies’ first-quarter results were largely positive, though misses were badly punished.
Shares in British software firm Sage sank 19 per cent, the biggest decline on the STOXX, after the company cut its full-year revenue guidance as software subscription growth slowed in the first half.
On the other hand, Finnish paper maker Stora Enso jumped 4.5 per cent to the top of the index after reporting stronger than expected first-quarter results.
Klepierre shares rose 4.3 per cent after the commercial real estate firm said it had dropped a bid for Hammerson and would not pursue a takeover of the UK firm.
Hammerson meanwhile dropped 13 per cent to trade at 452.7p, erasing nearly all the gains the stock had made from Klepierre’s first takeover bid on March 19.
In earnings reactions, L’Oreal reported a strong sales beat thanks to good performance from China and luxury cosmetics, but the shares wilted after touching a five-month high in early deals, last trading down 0.2 per cent.
Traders put the muted reaction down to technical selling and profit-taking.
Overall mining and industrial stocks were the best-performing, enjoying a boost from metals prices which surged higher this week after sanctions on Russian aluminum firm Rusal.
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