European shares edge up; BP gains

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 percent

* BP gains 4.3 pct after leaking well capped

* Banking stocks under pressure ahead of BofA, Citi results

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

By Brian Gorman

LONDON, July 16 (BestGrowthStock) – European stocks inched higher
late on Friday morning, in cautious trading ahead of more U.S.
bellwethers reporting second-quarter earnings, including Bank of
America (BAC.N: ) and Citigroup (C.N: ).

Oil major BP (BP.L: ) rose 4.3 percent after saying it has
capped its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico.

At 1003 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
European shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,035.05 points, on track
to record a weekly gain of more than 1 percent.

“We’re in a holding pattern, waiting for more Q2 earnings
and what companies will say about the third quarter,” said Andy
Lynch, fund manager at Schroders.

“We’re also waiting for the stress tests. Everyone assumes
banks are going to pass them, but there’s always a risk.”

BP said late on Thursday it had stopped the leak with a
containment cap installed three days earlier. [ID:nN15255571]

The stock is still down more than 36 percent from its
mid-April peak.

Banking stocks were mostly lower, ahead of earnings from
Bank of America and Citigroup, as investors are eager to see if
they will confirm the positive trend in the sector signalled by
JPMorgan’s (JPM.N: ) results on Thursday, and as worries on stress
tests persisted.

Barclays (BARC.L: ), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: ) and HSBC
(HSBA.L: ) fell between 0.4 and 2.2 percent.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the chairman of euro zone finance
ministers, said on Friday the stress tests on the European banks
should not reveal any “catastrophes” but the reviews should be
tough.

Around Europe, UK’s FTSE 100 index (.FTSE: ), Germany’s DAX
index (.GDAXI: ) and France’s CAC 40 (.FCHI: ) rose between 0.4 and
0.9 percent.

Investors were also bracing for earnings from General
Electric Co (GE.N: ), seen as a harbinger for the global economy.

The conglomerate is expected to break a nine-quarter streak
of earnings declines on Friday, but investors’ focus will be on
what the company has to say about its prospects over the next
few quarters.

Also on the earnings front, France’s Carrefour (CARR.PA: ),
the world’s second largest retailer, was down 0.8 percent as
investors digested a quarterly sales release that offered a
mixed bag of news.

(Editing by Hans Peters)

European shares edge up; BP gains