Banks nudge European stocks slightly higher

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 percent; investors await Fed

* Deutsche Bank, Nordea rise after results

* Resource-related stocks hit as QE doubts boost dollar

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]

By Brian Gorman

LONDON, Oct 27 (BestGrowthStock) – European stocks were marginally
higher on Wednesday, helped by strong bank results, as investors
assessed whether improving sentiment might cause the U.S.
Federal Reserve to be less aggressive in monetary easing.

At 1058 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
European shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,090.93 points, having
been as low as 1,081.64 earlier.

The European benchmark is up 69 percent from its lifetime
low of March, 2009, with several major economies having emerged
from recession, helped by fiscal stimulus.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the
Federal Reserve is likely next week to unveil a programme of
U.S. Treasury bond purchases worth a few hundred billion dollars
over several months. In a Reuters survey earlier this month,
U.S. primary dealers’ projections for the size of the Fed’s
expected quantitative easing had ranged from $500 billion to
$1.5 trillion. [FED/R]

“My guess is that the Fed will come out and do less than
people hope. The most recent data hasn’t been catastrophically
awful,” said Andy Lynch, fund manager at Schroders. “Everyone is
now in a holding pattern waiting for the helicopter to land.”

He added: “Compared with fixed income, stocks are extremely
cheap.”

The heavyweight banking sector was generally higher, boosted
by the latest results. Nordea (NDA.ST: ) rose 3.3 percent after
the biggest Nordic bank by value posted third-quarter earnings
above all forecasts, and Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE: ) gained 1.8
percent after reporting resilient profit from investment banking
in the third quarter. [ID:nLDE69Q05C]

But BBVA (BBVA.MC: ), Spain’s second-largest bank, fell 1.1
percent after nine-month net profit broadly matched forecasts
with revenue growth muted due to low interest rates and higher
funding costs. [ID:nLDE69P2DL]

Mining stocks fell as a stronger dollar hurt metals prices.
Copper slipped from its highest in more than two years.

Anglo American (AAL.L: ), BHP Billiton (BLT.L: ), Kazakhmys
(KAZ.L: ), Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) and Xstrata (XTA.L: ) fell between 1
and 3.6 percent.

Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) fell 0.4 percent;
Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: ) and France’s CAC40 (.FCHI: ) rose 0.1 and
0.2 percent respectively.

SAP FALLS

German business software maker SAP (SAPG.DE: ) fell 3 percent
as investors booked recent strong gains after the company’s
results and outlook failed to impress.

Heineken NV (HEIN.AS: ) tumbled 4.3 percent as the world’s
third-largest brewer reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter
sales.

The Euro STOXX 50 (.STOXX50E: ), the euro zone’s blue-chip
index, ran into a strong support level and sent a bullish signal
as the index’s 50-day moving average crossed above its 200-day
moving average, known as a golden cross.

The Euro STOXX 50 rose 0.3 percent to 2,865.35 points, above
a key support level at 2,837.89, which represents the 38.2
percent Fibonacci retracement of the index’s fall from a 2007
high to a 2009 low.

(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Erica
Billingham)

Banks nudge European stocks slightly higher