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Europe: Pandora, Credit Suisse lift European shares, Athens outperforms

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[LONDON] European shares rose on Tuesday, lifted by news of progress on Greek debt talks, with Danish jeweller Pandora surging after strong results and Credit Suisse gaining after a smaller-than-expected loss.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index ended up 0.9 per cent, while Greek shares rose 3.1 per cent to their higest level this year after euro zone finance ministers offered to grant Greece some debt relief.

Earnings reports set the tone of the market, with Pandora up more than 11 per cent after reporting a bigger-than-expected rise in first-quarter operating profit on strong sales growth and raising its full-year forecast.

"The main positive takeaway is the early upgrade of full-year expectations," Nordea analyst, Patrik Setterberg, said.

Credit Suisse added 5 per cent. Although it saw tough market conditions continuing at least through the second quarter, it posted a lower-than-expected loss of 302 million Swiss francs for the first quarter.

"This was easily the most shorted name heading into numbers and the market was fearing capital may have moved materially in the wrong direction. The fact that it was flat ... means a classic 'not as bad as feared'," a trader said.

British outsourcing group Capita rose 5.3 per cent after saying it was increasingly confident it would grow organic revenue by at least 4 per cent this year.

The first quarter earnings season is entering into its last phase. According to Thomson Reuters StarMine, nearly 70 per cent of European companies have announced results so far, of which 60 per cent have met or beaten analysts' forecasts.

On the downside, France's Natixis slid 6.9 per cent after saying it was looking at ways to boost efficiency as investment banking weakness led to a 30-per cent fall in first-quarter net income.

Italian lender UniCredit fell 1.5 per cent after posting a slight decline in its core capital.

REUTERS