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Europe: Stocks little changed after 7-day rally amid earnings

Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 00:21
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[LONDON] European stocks were little changed, posting their longest winning streak since January, amid earnings from Ericsson AB and Volvo AB.

Ericsson advanced 3.4 per cent after second-quarter sales beat analysts' projections. Volvo slid 6.3 per cent, reversing earlier gains after saying US heavy-vehicle market has probably peaked as orders declined.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added less than 0.1 per cent to 405.68 at the close of trading, taking its weekly advance to 4.3 per cent, the most since January. The gauge has rebounded 8.8 per cent from a July 7 low amid optimism over Greece, after almost entering a correction.

"The potential for more gains is very limited in the short-term," said Francois Savary, Geneva-based chief investment officer at Reyl & Cie, which oversees about US$11 billion. "We still favor equities and keep our bias to Europe. It's where we'll have liquidity flowing in and where profit growth will be the strongest. Investors are still very cautious and holding a lot of cash." Some options and futures on European stocks and indexes expired on Friday.

German lawmakers paved the way for new negotiations for a Greek bailout package of as much as 86 billion euros over three years. The European Union finalized a 7.2 billion-euro bridge loan to Greece.

Givaudan, 888 Among other stocks moving on corporate news, Givaudan SA rose 4 per cent after the world's largest maker of flavors and fragrance reported a surprise increase in first-half earnings.

Boliden AB and Schibsted ASA jumped more than 7.3 per cent after they each reported second-quarter profit that beat estimates.

888 Holdings Plc rallied 8.6 per cent after agreeing to buy Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc for 898.3 million-pounds. The price was less than an offer competitor GVC Holdings Plc was considering making. Bwin.party added 2 per cent.

Credit Suisse Group AG fell 1.6 per cent after Deutsche Bank AG said it no longer recommended buying the shares.

Fortum Oyj lost 6.9 per cent after posting a drop in quarterly profit and saying its results continue to be affected by low electricity prices.

BLOOMBERG