European stocks rose on Friday, with a slew of upbeat earnings updates and dovish comments from the European Central bank helping underpin sentiment.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 inched up 0.6 percent to 459.47 after rising 0.6 percent on Thursday. The German DAX gained 0.6 percent, while France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were up around 0.8 percent each.
Swedish builder Skanska AB surged 5.4 percent after reporting a hefty jump in second-quarter profit
Swiss chemicals company Lonza gained 2 percent after raising its 2021 outlook.
Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore rose between 1.5 percent and 1.9 percent on hopes of a fast economic recovery.
Automakers Daimler, Volkswagen and Renault climbed 2-3 percent.
Vodafone gained nearly 2 percent after the British telecom major reported higher revenues in its first quarter.
Security firm Ultra Electronics Holdings soared as much as 33 percent after receiving a takeover bid from aerospace manufacturer Cobham.
Thales gained 1.5 percent after the French defense electronics company posted solid first-half results and lifted its full-year revenue target.
Dassault Aviation shares soared 5 percent. The aircraft manufacturing company reported that its adjusted net income for the first-half of 2021 was 265 million euros, up from 87 million euros last year.
In economic releases, Euro zone business activity expanded at its fastest monthly pace in over two decades in July as an easing of containment measures gave a boost to services, a survey showed.
IHS Markit’s Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 60.6 in July from 59.5, its highest reading since July 2000.
Elsewhere, the IHS Markit/CIPS U.K. flash composite PMI dropped to 57.7 in July from 62.2 in June, its lowest since March and a sharper fall than most economists had expected.
U.K. consumer sentiment strengthened more-than-expected in July to reach ahead of its March 2020 pre-lockdown level, survey data from the market research group GfK showed.
The consumer sentiment index rose to -7 in July from -9 in the previous month. The expected reading was -8.
U.K. retail sales recovered in June as the start of the Euro 2020 football championship boosted food store sales, separate data from the Office for National Statistics revealed.
Retail sales grew 0.5 percent month-on-month in June, reversing a 1.3 percent fall in May. Sales were forecast to grow 0.4 percent.
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