European shares edge higher, led by banks, SKF

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct

* Banks gain ahead of results from Goldman Sachs

* SKF surges as results beat forecasts

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

By Brian Gorman

LONDON, Oct 19 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares edged up on
Tuesday, with industrials gaining after forecast-beating results
at bearings maker SKF (SKFb.ST: ) and financials higher ahead of
results from U.S. peers.

But weaker oil and mining shares capped gains for key
indexes.

At 1025 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: )
index of top shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,089.70 points, after
hitting its highest close in nearly six months on Monday.

The benchmark is up more nearly 69 percent from a lifetime
low of March, 2009, with fiscal stimulus having helped several
major economies emerge from recession.

However, it is up barely 4 percent in 2010, partly due to
worries about high debt levels among the euro zone’s peripheral
countries, notably Greece.
SKF surged more than 10 percent as the world’s biggest
maker of bearings raised its financial targets after unveiling
forecast-beating quarterly earnings and a $1 billion U.S.
acquisition. [ID:nLDE69I098]

The results also lifted the share prices for Atlas Copco
(ATCOa.ST: ), Sandvik (SAND.ST: ) and Alfa Laval (ALFA.ST: ), which
rose between 1.6 and 3.7 percent.

“It was a good update from SKF. It surprised people,” said
Colin McLean, managing director at fund manager SVM in
Edinburgh.

“Industrials and financials are strong and there’s money
coming into the market. Sentiment is better among the Greek
banks, with EFG Eurobank (EFGr.AT: ) being able to use some of the
Greek bonds as collateral.”

EFG rose 5.3 percent and the Greek banking sector index
(.FTATBNK: ) was up 2.8 percent.

Heavyweight financials were also among the biggest gainers
as investors awaited results from U.S. peers including Goldman
Sachs (GS.N: ) and Bank of America (BAC.N: ) for evidence on the
pace of recovery in the sector.

Banco Santander (SAN.MC: ), Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: ), Societe
Generale (SOGN.PA: ) and UBS (UBSN.VX: ) rose between 2.3 and 2.6
percent.

“Investors will accept the slowing in the rate of earnings
recovery in the financials. I don’t think there should be a huge
surprise if we see some impact on the top line as long as
margins are holding up,” said Bernard McAlinden, investment
strategist at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin.

Energy companies fell, tracking falls in crude prices (CLc1: )
after the dollar rebounded on profit taking and after Washington
stressed its desire for a strong dollar.

Total (TOTF.PA: ), Repsol (REP.MC: ) and Statoil (STL.OL: ) fell
between 0.9 and 1.7 percent.
Miners to fall included Xstrata, down 1.8 percent, as
metals prices slipped.

Growing speculation in recent weeks of further quantitative
easing measures in the U.S. have put pressure on the dollar,
resulting in a boost to commodity prices and commodity-related
stocks, with mining shares (.SXPP: ) up more than 5 percent this
month.

TECHS FALL

Technology firms in Europe were also lower, after U.S. peer
Apple (AAPL.O: ) posted disappointing sales of its iPad tablet
computer and IBM (IBM.N: ) reported a fall in new technology
services deals. [ID:nN18152165] [ID:nN18288374]

ARM Holdings (ARM.L: ) and Infineon (IFXGn.DE: ) fell 2.6 and
1.3 percent respectively.

In macroeconomics, German analyst and investor sentiment
deteriorated by less than forecast in October, a closely-watched
survey showed. The Mannheim-based ZEW economic think tank’s
monthly poll of economic sentiment fell to -7.2 in October from
a reading of -4.3 in September. A reading of -8.0 was forecast.
(Additional reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Greg
Mahlich)

European shares edge higher, led by banks, SKF