European shares rise for 4th day; Daimler falls

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – European shares rose for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday as general positive quarterly earnings and upbeat news on the U.S. economy lifted sentiment, though Daimler took a beating after scrapping its dividend.

Swiss engineering group ABB soared 7.6 percent after fourth-quarter results, while Capgemini, Europe’s largest computer consultancy, rose 6.4 percent after reporting earnings ahead of forecasts.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares provisionally closed 0.6 percent higher at 1,021.38 points, hitting a two-week closing high for the second day and after gaining 2.8 percent in the previous three sessions.

Stronger U.S. forward economic indicators, including factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region and the Conference Board survey, overshadowed a rise in the number of U.S. workers filing new applications for unemployment insurance last week.

Among other companies that were boosted by earnings, French electric equipment company Schneider Electric added 4.1 percent and BAE Systems, Europe’s biggest military contractor, advanced 4.4 percent.

Carmakers, however, took a beating, with Daimler shedding 5.1 percent after saying it would skip a dividend for 2009 results after it posted a 1.51 billion euro ($2 billion) loss before interest and tax.

French bank Societe Generale dropped 6.9 percent as traders expressed disappointment at the fourth-quarter figures, though Europe’s banking sector drifted 0.1 percent higher.

(Reporting by Dominic Lau; editing by John Stonestreet)

European shares rise for 4th day; Daimler falls