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Europe: Earnings drag on shares, Credit Suisse shines

[LONDON] Declines in health and tech stocks weighed on European shares on Thursday following an outlook cut from Coloplast, as forecast-beating results from Credit Suisse and Danske Bank limited losses.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index trended lower through the day after opening near two-year highs, ending the session down 0.5 per cent.

Britain's FTSE 100 index bucked the trend, closing 0.9 per cent higher as sterling dropped after the Bank of England raised rates for the first time in more than a decade.

"UK stocks rallied but this looks to reflect almost entirely the currency move: they underperformed overseas equities in common currency terms," Toby Nangle, head of multi-asset, EMEA, at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said in a note.

Market voices on:

"The Bank dropped the line from its statement that rates may need to rise more than the market expects, and this was interpreted by the market as removing some risk that this was the first of many rises to come."

Earnings weighed on European shares, led by an 11.8 per cent drop in Coloplast.

The Danish healthcare product maker fell after its new strategy disappointed the market and it cut its outlook.

Gambling technology firm Playtech was another casualty, its shares plummeting 22 per cent after it warned on profit because of a slowdown in parts of Asia and problems with a bingo contract .

Financials added the most points, and there were some bright spots among banks.

The gains eased some of the concerns stoked earlier this week by Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas, which saw shares slump after disappointing results.

Shares in heavyweight Swiss bank Credit Suisse rose 4.5 per cent after it reported stronger-than-expected revenues.

"These results confirm the turnaround story of CS," analysts at KBW brokerage said, pointing to the bank's market-share gains in key areas and progress in restructuring.

Denmark's Danske Bank also rose, by 2.8 per cent, after reporting net income above estimates and an increase in its capital ratio.

Nearly half of European companies have reported for the third quarter, with industrial, financial and tech sectors the best performers, according to Thomson Reuters data. Sixty-six per cent of companies in the MSCI Europe have beaten or met earnings expectations.

A strong non-bank performer was oil services firm Tenaris , which rose 9.7 per cent after results, helping Italy's benchmark gain 0.2 per cent.

Miner Randgold Resources tumbled 7.2 per cent after reporting a 41 per cent fall in third-quarter profits. It posted its worst day in 10 months.