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Europe: Shares choppy as earnings fail to set trend, yields rise


[LONDON] European shares steadied on Tuesday as a batch of company updates failed to set a clear trend and chipmakers were weighed down by AMS' warning of a downturn in orders.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 benchmark ended flat at the end of a choppy day, marginally weighed down after the US 10-year Treasury yield rose above 3 percent for the first time since 2014.

The rise in bond yields, which investors fear could hurt equities, has been partly fuelled by the spike in crude oil prices, which on Tuesday crossed US$75, boosting energy shares.

The oil and gas index was the biggest sectoral gainer, up 1 per cent at its highest level in around three years.

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Austria-based chipmaker AMS, which supplies Apple, tumbled 9 per cent after reporting lower orders from one of its main customers, which it did not name, also hitting shares in other companies in the sector.

"It is reasonable to assume that this will have a negative impact on STM's Q2 guidance as well", Liberum analysts said as shares in STMicro fell 0.7 per cent and peer Dialog Semi tumbled 6 per cent.

Germany's SAP rose 3.5 per cent after saying it was gaining ground on competitors Salesforce and Oracle in the cloud and that its margin recovery was firmly on track.

The banking sector, down 0.1 per cent, got little support from the results of Santander, the euro zone's biggest bank by market value, whose shares fell 3.2 per cent after profits in the UK disappointed.

Deutsche Bank AG however added 4.2 per cent. It may spell out strategy changes for its investment bank on Thursday along with first-quarter earnings.

Swiss bank UBS had failed to cheer up investors on Monday after its flagship wealth management business missed forecasts.

In the auto sector, truck maker AB Volvo fell 4.6 per cent after it warned that its supply chain was coming under pressure, while results from automaker PSA Group disappointed, weighing on its shares.

Tyre maker Michelin rose 1.6 per cent, recovering from initial losses that followed a fall in first-quarter revenue.

Dutch paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel lost 2.3 per cent after reporting a larger-than-expected 28 per cent drop in first-quarter core profit.

Elsewhere, Banca Mediolanum fell 1.4 per cent after Italy's tax police asked the Italian asset manager to pay taxes totalling 544 million euros in a dispute over the residency of its Irish arm.

Bollore fell 6 per cent after French police questioned billionaire Vincent Bollore over allegations his group worked on the election campaigns of presidential candidates in two African countries in return for lucrative port contracts.