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Europe: Shares steady near highs, Barclays and RSA advance
[LONDON] European shares steadied near a 14-month high on Thursday, with a rally in stocks of companies like Barclays and RSA following their positive updates offsetting some weaker firms including Technicolor and Veolia.
Barclays shares rose more than 3 per cent after the British bank reported a surprise increase in its core capital ratio as it took advantage of its rising profits.
Insurer RSA was up 5 per cent after posting a 25 per cent rise in 2016 operating profit and raising its target for return on equity.
Dialog Semiconductor, the maker of chips that go in Apple Inc's and Samsung Electronics'smartphones, surged 7.4 per cent after it said it expected "good revenue growth" in 2017.
However, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat in percentage terms after hitting a 14-month high a day earlier. A slew of companies weakened after reporting poor results, negating some positive share moves.
Germany's DAX was also flat, with the index little changed after data highlighted the German economy quadrupled its growth rate to 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter as higher state spending, rising private consumption and construction more than offset a drag from net foreign trade.
Technicolor fell more than 6 per cent, the biggest decliner in the STOXX 600 index, after the French media and entertainment company reported a net loss, while French water and waste group Veolia was down 4.9 per cent after pushing back its forecast for core earnings by a year.