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Europe: Shares are little changed while Greek lenders rebound

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European stocks halted a two-day gain amid disappointing earnings releases, while Greek shares rallied after a report that the nation won access to more emergency funding for its banks.

[LONDON] European stocks halted a two-day gain amid disappointing earnings releases, while Greek shares rallied after a report that the nation won access to more emergency funding for its banks.

Kering SA lost 4 per cent as it posted a worse-than-expected drop in revenue at its Gucci brand, and Tesco Plc slid 5.2 per cent after reporting its biggest annual loss ever. Greece's benchmark ASE Index climbed 2.1 per cent, the most among western- European markets, with its banks gaining the most in almost two months.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped less than 0.1 per cent to 408.97 at 4:30 pm in London. It earlier rose as much as 0.6 per cent and fell 0.8 per cent. Retailers declined 1.4 per cent, falling the most among 19 industry groups.

"Positive news are priced in and everyone is waiting for more good news," said Christian Stocker, a strategist at UniCredit Bank AG in Munich.

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"What we now need is a strong increase in earnings momentum."

The Stoxx 600 climbed 1.4 per cent in the past two days, closing within 1.2 per cent of the record it reached earlier this month. It's rallied 19 per cent this year through Tuesday as the European Central Bank embarked on a quantitative-easing program.

Greece's ASE rose after closing at its lowest level since 2012. Its banks jumped 13 per cent, rebounding from a record low. Piraeus Bank SA and Eurobank Ergasias SA rallied more than 21 per cent.

The ECB's Governing Council raised the cap on Emergency Liquidity Assistance by about 1.5 billion euros to 75.5 billion euros in a teleconference on Wednesday, people familiar with the decision said.

Among other stocks moving on earnings, Heineken NV declined 3 per cent after the world's third-biggest brewer posted sales that advanced less than analysts projected. Roche Holding AG gained 1.8 per cent after reporting first-quarter revenue that beat analysts' estimates.

Volvo AB rallied 15 per cent and Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc gained 4.3 per cent after the companies named new chief executive officers.

ASML Holding NV jumped 11 per cent after Europe's largest chip-equipment maker won its biggest order yet for a new type of machinery it's betting on to boost sales. That sent technology companies for the biggest gains among Stoxx 600 industry groups.

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