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Europe: Shares extend recovery rally as oil stocks lead


[LONDON] European shares edged higher on Tuesday as investors shifted from worrying about a trade war to focussing on a corporate earnings season expected to deliver solid results.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.4 per cent to a 2 1/2-week high, scoring its sixth straight day of gains as energy shares supported the market, while political bickering in the UK kept the FTSE, up 0.1 per cent, slightly behind.

Fading concern over trade helped push Wall Street higher for a second day on Tuesday.

"It's more of an absence of bad news rather than outright positive news that has driven the trade story over the last few days," said Brooks investment director Macdonald Edward Park.

Oil stocks were the biggest boost to the Stoxx index, rising 1.4 per cent. Crude prices climbed on concern over potential supply shortages as Norwegian oil workers prepared to strike later in the day.

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Industrials stocks like Siemens, Deutsche Post and Safran, among the worst-hit by news of tariffs, also boosted the European index. Trade-sensitive luxury stocks Kering and LVMH extended their recovery rally.

Analysts have been revising their earnings expectations higher for the Stoxx 600 before Europe's earnings season kicks off in earnest. According to Thomson Reuters IBES data, Stoxx earnings are expected to have risen more than 7 per cent.

On Tuesday however disappointing results caused the most eye-catching moves.

Shares in interdealer broker TP ICAP sank 35.9 per cent to a two-year low, suffering their worst day ever. The company announced its CEO would depart and warned on profit, blaming Brexit-related costs.

Airbus shares rose 4 per cent after Bank of America Merrill-Lynch added the stock to its "Europe 1" list of preferred stocks.

Ocado shares ended up 9 per cent, despite the online supermarket saying its 2018 pre-tax loss would exceed market consensus as investment spending cut into first-half earnings. Earlier in the day, the share price initially fell as much as 7.4 per cent after the earnings report.

Among other gainers, speciality chemicals firm Wacker Chemie rose 3.8 per cent after Societe Generale analysts raised the stock to buy from hold.

"We think the market is overestimating the impact of renewed price pressure in polysilicon for solar and at the same time underestimating the value of Wacker's Silicones business," they wrote.

Shares in German wind turbine maker Nordex jumped 4.5 per cent after it won its biggest single contract ever, for a 595-megawatt wind turbine order in Brazil.

Biotech and pharma shares rose 0.7 per cent as M&A and drug trial results boosted some small caps in the sector.

UK specialist healthcare services company Cambian soared 34 per cent after the small-cap firm said it had received a US$536 million takeover offer from Caretech Holdings.

Switzerland-listed biotech company Cassiopea jumped 75 per cent after positive trials for its Winlevi acne treatment.


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