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Europe: Shares tick higher as earnings roll in, Spain rebounds

[LONDON] Spanish equities rebounded on Monday, reassured by weekend demonstrations for a unified Spain and a poll lead for parties opposed to Catalan independence.

Spain's IBEX benchmark outperformed a 0.1-per cent gain for the pan-European Stoxx 600 index, rising 2.4 per cent led by Caixabank and Banco de Sabadell , which both jumped more than 4 per cent.

Stephane Barbier de la Serre, strategist at Makor Capital Markets, told Reuters there was a clear sense among investors that the Catalan crisis would be resolved.

But he said Spanish shares had still some catching up to do with the broader European markets and that the "road to normalisation" would likely be bumpy and generate some volatility in the weeks to come.

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Spain's Bankia gained 2.2 per cent after reporting a smaller-than-expected drop in net profit and as the lender made progress in shrinking its bad loan portfolio.

European tech stocks joined a global tech rally on the back of solid earnings from US stalwarts and on strong pre-orders for Apple's iPhone X.

European iPhone suppliers STMicro, Dialog Semi and AMS rose 2.3 per cent, 5.6 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.

Rexel rose 1.3 per cent and Kingfisher 2 per cent, both on brokers' upgrades.

UK housebuilders Bellway and Berkeley lost 1.1 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively after Barclays downgraded both of them.

Still in London, shares in HSBC fell 1.5 per cent despite reporting a five-fold jump in its quarterly profits as broker Investec maintained its sell rating on the stock.

More European banks are due to report later during the week, including BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Societe Generale.

Glencore rose 0.8 per cent after falling earlier in the session after a trading update and a report saying it would cancel its secondary listing in Hong Kong due to lack of interest from investors.

Dutch paints maker Akzo Nobel, under pressure after rejecting a lucrative takeover offer and two profit warnings, confirmed talks with smaller US rival Axalta Coating Systems Ltd and rose 0.7 per cent.