LONDON, April 20 European shares inched up on
Thursday as strong results from Unilever lifted bluechip
consumers staple stocks and helped offset weakness in the energy
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.3 percent
by 0730GMT. The UK's FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent.
Unilever was among the top boosts on the UK and
European benchmarks, after the consumer sector bellwether posted
a first-quarter sales beat, helped by price increases.
Unilever's gains supported the personal and household goods
sector which rose up 0.8 percent. Nestle shares
rose more than 1 percent.
Energy sector stocks were in the red, however, reeling from
a sharp slide in oil prices overnight. Lundin Petroleum
and Tullow Oil were among top fallers in the
In another sign of a better backdrop for the asset
management industry, British hedge fund Man Group shares
rose 4.4 percent after it reported net inflows over the first
Pandora was up 4.3 percent, regaining ground
after a broker downgrade hit it earlier in the week. The company
updated its financial reporting structure, maintaining its
outlook for 2017.
Construction equipment rental company Ashtead fell
3.7 percent after its U.S. peer United Rentals' results
(Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)