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European shares set for fifth straight week of gains amid earnings

posted onApril 27, 2018

European shares edge higher on Friday, setting the benchmark index on track for its longest winning streak in terms of weekly gains since last September.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up around 0.2 percent during early morning deals, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory. Germany’s DAX Index increased 0.7 percent to the highest in more than a week while Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.2 percent. 

This week banks have been a key focus with better-than-expected results from Spanish banks helping fuel gains. Spanish lenders  BBVA and Caixabank beat profit forecasts thanks to strength in their overseas markets.Their shares were up 2 percent and 0.1 respectively. 

BBVA shares

BBVA posted a net attributable profit of €1.34 billion between January and March 2018, up 11.8 percent compared to the same period of 2017 (+22.3 percent in constant terms) and the highest quarterly result in the past three years. 

CaixaBank reported net attributable profit of €704 million in the first quarter of 2018, up 74.7% year-on-year. The main factors behind this growth were the strength of core revenues, the reduction of provisions and higher income from stakes the bank said.

Caixabank shares

Elsewhere, industrials performed well as shares in St Gobain  jumped 3 percent  after the French construction materials group affirmed its 2018 earnings target.French satellite firm Ses rose to the top of the European benchmark soaring 10 percent higher after beating first-quarter expectations on the back of strong growth in its networks division.  

French consultancy giant Capgemini was the top sectoral performer after its first-quarter consolidated revenues grew 7.2 percent year-on-year at constant exchange rates. Kepler Chevreux then raised its target price for the stock to 116 euros from 112 euros. Shares of Capgemini rallied nearly 5 percent  on the news. 

So far around a quarter of companies in the MSCI EMU index have given first quarter updates, while nearly 60 percent have either beat or met analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data. Earnings growth is clocking in at over 15 percent for the quarter, in dollar terms. 

Separately, Eurozone economic sentiment remained stable in April at 112.7 data from European Commission showed.  

Meanwhile, traders will be keeping a close eye on the Central Bank of Russia which is scheduled to hold its board of directors' monetary policy meeting today. Investors also welcomed the European Central Bank's (ECB) decision to keep key interest rates unchanged. ECB's latest meeting of the Governing Council took place on Thursday. 

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