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Europe: Shares recover at end of worst week in six months

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[MILAN] European shares rose slightly in early deals on Friday, timidly recovering from heavy losses suffered earlier this week after US political turmoil fuelled worries over US President Donald Trump's stimulus plans, denting risk appetite.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3 per cent by 0725 GMT, but was down 1.5 per cent on the week, its biggest weekly loss since early November. Britain's FTSE was up 0.4 per cent and euro zone blue chips added 0.3 per cent.

While gains were spread across all sectors, pharma stocks and financials gave the biggest boost to the STOXX with shares in heavyweight drugmaker Roche up 0.6 percent, helped by a Barclays price target upgrade, and Spanish lender Banco Santander up 0.8 percent.

Among the biggest movers was Dufry, up 6.9 per cent after luxury group Richemont bought a 5 per cent stake in the company.

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Hikma shares fell 4.9 per cent after the drugmaker trimmed its revenue forecast to account for the delay in its US generic drug launch.

This week's losses have pulled the stocks down from 21 month highs hit after a run driven by big fund inflows into Europe, solid macro data and surprisingly strong corporate earnings.

With 80 per cent of European companies having reported so far, 65 per cent of them have beaten expectations and 8 per cent have met them, according to I/B/E/S data. First quarter earnings growth is seen at 19.4 per cent, slightly below the more than 20 per cent previously forecast.

REUTERS

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