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Europe: HSBC weighs on banks as stocks advance

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[LONDON] European shares rose on Tuesday thanks to a slew of well-received results, though banks were a weak spot after HSBC reported weaker than expected earnings and said it needed as much as US$7 billion of fresh capital.

The pan-regional Stoxx 600 benchmark ended the session with a gain of 0.6 per cent, while the banking index declined 0.1 per cent.

A weaker euro also helped euro zone stocks make headway after a lacklustre start to the week.

HSBC dropped 3 per cent after its trading update, the last under outgoing CEO Stuart Gulliver, who has pushed through a painful restructuring of Europe's biggest bank by market value.

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Credit Suisse analysts said HSBC's pledge to undertake share buybacks "as and when appropriate" could mark a change in capital-return strategy by the new management.

Elsewhere, some positive earnings buoyed sentiment.

Edenred was among top performers, rising 6.5 per cent after the French provider of prepaid meal vouchers and cards reported record 2017 earnings, increased its dividend and expressed confidence for 2018.

Danish software developer Simcorp led the Stoxx index with a 12.2 per cent rise after its full-year results.

Energy stocks supported indices, with BP, Total, Royal Dutch Shell and ENI up between 0.2 per cent and 1.6 per cent.

Among regional indexes, London's FTSE 100 was flat, with the world's biggest miner, BHP, joining HSBC among fallers as it dropped by 4.6 per cent after missing results forecasts.

InterContinental Hotels fell 2.7 per cent after putting shareholder payouts on ice as it pursues a new strategy to accelerate growth.

Swiss financial software company Temenos was 6 per cent lower after news that it was in talks to buy British rival Fidessa Group for about 1.4 billion pounds.

Germany's HeidelbergCement gained 0.3 per cent after raising its target for savings resulting from the takeover of Italcementi for the third time in less than a year.

REUTERS