Europe open: Shares rally on upbeat earnings, travel sector
European shares opened higher on Wednesday as upbeat earnings reports and a strong rise in travel stocks boosted sentiment.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.94% in early trade with all major regional bourses higher.
In corporate news UK fashion retailer Next soared almost 10% to top the Stoxx after lifting annual profits guidance to the upper end of forecasts.
Travel stocks were also in favour, with cruise line operator Carnival up 6% after announcing more sailings in the summer/autumn season on Tuesday. British Airways owner IAG, and budget carrier easyJet were also higher.
Future rallied 9% after the magazine publisher and GoCompare owner said full-year profitability was set to be "materially ahead" of current market expectations amid a continued strong performance.
Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML rose 4% as it raised its 2021 sales outlook and announced a new share buyback plan.
Swiss drugmaker Novartis added 2.1% as its second-quarter core net income beat market expectations, boosted by its key drug brands.
Among decliners, German business software group SAP slid 3.9% despite raising its outlook for the second time this year.
Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler fell 1.1% after it warned that a global shortage of semiconductor chips will dent car sales in the second half of 2021.
Royal Mail slumped after it said revenues rose 12.5% in the first quarter as people continued to shop online with Covid lockdown restrictions still in place, but that UK parcel volumes had started to slip as curbs were lifted.