Europe close: Stocks bolstered by corporate results
European stocks extended their recent rally on Thursday, leaving some of the Continent's main indices within striking distance of their all-time highs.
Boosting investor sentiment again were strong corporate earnings which more than offset a weaker-than-expected reading on second quarter US gross domestic product.
"Bad news is good news for investors today, with a raft of underwhelming data out of the US allaying concerns over a tightening of the monetary tap at the Federal Reserve. Yesterday’s FOMC meeting largely delivered a message for both sides, with Powell’s plans to hold off on tapering talk undermined by the economic improvements which point in that direction," said IG senior market analyst Josh Mahony.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.46% at 463.84, while France’s CAC 40 added 0.37% to 6,633.77 and Germany’s DAX climbed 0.45% to 15,640.47.
In equity news, shares in telecom equipment maker Nokia rose almost 5% as the company reported a stronger-than-expected second-quarter operating profit and raised its full-year outlook as promised, thanks to a turnaround of its business.
Aircraft maker Airbus edged up 0.6% after it sharply raised its forecasts for full-year deliveries and earnings.
France’s Total Energies and UK-listed Royal Dutch Shell both gained after announcing share buybacks as a sharp rise in oil and gas prices boosted their earnings.
But it wasn't all good news as food giant Nestle and brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev dropped following their latest results.
Swiss bank Credit Suisse fell after reporting a near 80% fall in its second-quarter profit, hit by the fallout from the collapse of Archegos.