Strong earnings help European shares rebound

By Atul Prakash

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – European shares bounced back in morning trade on Thursday, with forecast-beating company results underpinning the market and firmer metals prices on supply concerns and a weaker dollar boosting mining shares.

At 4:45 a.m. ET, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top European shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,086.17 points after falling 0.8 percent to a two-week closing low in the previous session on doubts over the extent of a likely stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve at its meeting next week.

Tech shares were the top gainers, with Dassault Systemes (DAST.PA: ) jumping 7.9 percent as it lifted 2010 targets after a strong third quarter. Aixtron (AIXGn.DE: ) gained 2.6 percent on forecast-beating third quarter figures. ARM Holdings (ARM.L: ), Logitech (LOGN.VX: ) and Temenos (TEMN.S: ) rose 2.2 to 4.8 percent.

“Corporate results have been encouraging and market sentiment still remains relatively robust,” said Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays Wealth.

“Sentiment seesaws between the positive corporate outlook in the short term, although they tend to flat or slowdown into 2011, and the dark macro environment with the potential for further storms ahead. Volatility continues to be the name of the game.”

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ) rose 1 percent after beating analyst forecasts by reporting an 18 percent jump in third-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.)s, thanks to higher oil and gas prices.

Miners featured among the top gainers as copper and aluminum prices rose on the back of a weaker dollar. BHP Billiton (BLT.L: ), Antofagasta (ANTO.L: ) and Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) rose 1.2 to 1.6 percent.

Across Europe, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ), Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: ) and France’s CAC 40 (.FCHI: ) gained 0.4 to 0.5 percent. The Thomson Reuters Peripheral Eurozone Countries Index (.TRXFLDPIPU: ) was up 0.5 percent.

TECHNICAL OUTLOOK

The technical picture improved as the 50-day moving average of the Euro STOXX 50 (.STOXX50E: ), the euro zone’s blue-chip index, crossed to hover above its 200-day moving average, known as a golden cross, in the previous session.

The upward momentum indicator last occurred in June 2009, and the benchmark index climbed more than 20 percent in the following four months. The index was up 0.5 percent on Thursday.

“The medium-term technical picture looks fine and is supported by overall good reporting season,” one technical analyst said.

Among individual movers, Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA: ) rose 1.3 percent after its third-quarter earnings beat estimates on all fronts, helped by an increasing contribution from its growth platforms including emerging markets, vaccines and diabetes.

On the downside, AstraZeneca (AZN.L: ) slipped 1.9 percent as its revenue fell 4 percent in the third quarter, hit by generic competition to key drugs and the absence of last year’s windfall sales of swine flu vaccine.

Santander (SAN.MC: ) fell 0.5 percent after the euro zone’s biggest bank said profit for 2010 would fall short of forecasts after it put aside a greater-than-expected provision against Spanish assets under new Bank of Spain rules.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Michael Shields)

Strong earnings help European shares rebound