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Europe: Shares inch higher, masking big moves from Adidas, EDF
[LONDON] European shares rose on Wednesday, with results-driven gains from German sportswear company Adidas and British security company G4S partly offset by losses from EDF and Boskalis.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.1 per cent, ending four straight days of losses. UK's FTSE closed 0.1 per cent lower after Britain's budget statement delivered few surprises.
As earnings season builds momentum, figures show 54.9 per cent of European companies have so beaten estimates, better than the quarterly average since 2011.
Adidas rose 9.4 per cent to a record high. It increased sales and profit growth targets, after posting a 12.5 per cent increase in 2016 sales.
The German sportswear company's shares have gained 65 per cent over the past year while US competitor Nike has dropped 3 per cent.
British security company G4S was another top gainer, up 8 per cent after it reported a cut in leverage and its first rise in revenue in four years.
British satellite company Inmarsat rose 8.6 per cent after a 9.5 per cent gain in earnings. Investors shrugged off the firm's cautious outlook for the next two years.
Inmarsat had seen shorting of its stock increase before releasing its earnings, Markit figures showed.
French state-owned utility EDF fell 8 per cent to a record low after the French government sold 231 million preferential shares in the company as part of a capital increase .
EDF dragged the utilities index lower. Utilities have shown the lowest earnings growth rate of any sector this season, with growth down 14.9 per cent, data showed.
Dutch marine construction company Boskalis dropped 3.9 per cent after it reported its first yearly loss in two decades on one-off charges.
Swiss security company Dormakaba fell 4 per cent after results. Vontobel analysts said despite solid first-half results, consensus expectations were not likely to increase in the face of rising negative FX effects.
Oil companies were the top sectoral fallers, tracking global crude prices lower.
Banks were in demand, up 1 per cent, mirroring gains by their US peers after a better-than-expected jobs report cemented expectations for a US rate increase next week .