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Tech Strength, Bank Earnings Boost European Shares



Tech stocks drove European shares up on Friday at the end of a volatile week, as investors drew encouragement from Apple becoming the world’s first trillion-dollar company while supportive earnings boosted banks.

Apple was a driver for the broader tech sector .SX8P in Europe, which climbed 0.9 percent with chipmakers – some of which supply the iPhone maker – the top gainers.

Ams (AMS.S), BE Semiconductor (BESI.AS) and Siltronic (WAFGn.DE) rose 3.9 to 4.8 percent, while ASML (ASML.AS), Infineon (IFXGn.DE), and STMicroelectronics (STM.MI) were also higher.

Analysts’ expectations of tech companies’ earnings per share have risen to their highest since 2000, when a bubble took sector valuations to excessive levels.

Tech helped push the pan-European STOXX 600 index up 0.4 percent by 0830 GMT.

Autos .SXAP rose 1.1 percent in a relief bounce after two days of selling following a threat by U.S. President Trump to hike tariffs on Chinese imports.

Financials also climbed, after France’s Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) and Britain’s RBS (RBS.L) added to a slew of positive results from European lenders.

Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) reported second-quarter profits ahead of estimates, sending its shares up 2 percent, while peer Natixis (CNAT.PA) also gained 2 percent after its second-quarter profits rose.

Shares in RBS climbed 2.8 percent after the recovering state-owned bank announced its first dividend in a decade.

Overall, the banking sector’s profitability is up 22 percent year-on-year and credit quality is improving, Goldman Sachs analysts said, calling the quarter a healthy one for banks.

European corporates have delivered 7.8 percent year-on-year earnings growth for the second quarter so far, up on first quarter gains, according to Thomson Reuters data.




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