* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 percent, near 5-year highs
* Expectations of dovish signals from ECB support market
* HSBC up on strong quarterly earnings
* Roche leads healthcare firm up after superbug deal
* Ryanair, Weir fall on profit warnings
By David Brett
LONDON, Nov 4 Shares in banking heavyweight HSBC
gained on Monday on strong results, in a rising market supported
at five-year highs by expectations of additional monetary
stimulus from the European Central Bank.
Europe's largest bank by market capitalisation climbed 2.3
percent after it reported third quarter earnings rose 10 percent
year-on-year, well ahead of market expectations.
Switzerland's UBS and Credit Suisse,
each fell almost 3 percent after media reports that Swiss
politicians were considering tightening capital requirements for
the country's banks.
As the busiest week of a mixed quarterly earnings season got
under way, the FTSEurofirst 300 rose 0.3 percent to
1,293.94 by 1107 GMT, hitting the latest in a succession of
five-year highs in morning trade.
Despite the mixed picture for financials ,
the sector added the second most points to the index, while
healthcare firms were the top gainers.
Swiss heavyweight Roche rose after striking a $550
million deal for a superbug-fighting antibiotic.
Autos performed strongly after Peugeot PEUP.PA said
French car registrations rose in October, with Volkswagen
, which has increased its European market share in
recent years at the expense of Peugeot, gaining 1.1 percent.
Miners bounced 1 percent after data showed the
service sector in China, the world's biggest consumer of raw
materials, expanded at its fastest pace in 13 months in October,
offering indications that the economy has stabilised.
The sector is down nearly 13 percent in 2013 on concerns
over earnings sustainability related to an earlier slowdown in
So far in Europe, 67 percent of companies have missed sales
expectations and 53 percent have fallen short on profits,
according to Starmine data.
Airlines were the main drag after Europe's biggest carrier,
Ryanair, said full-year profits will fall for the first
time five years. Its shares fell 11.8 percent in heavy trade
with volumes in the stock 6 times their 90-day daily average.
British engineer Weir Group shed 7.7 percent after
a profit warning.
On average, more analysts expect European company earnings
to decline over coming quarters than to increase, according to
But European equity markets have held around multi-year
highs, supported by the ultra-loose monetary policies adopted by
central banks that have depressed returns in other asset
The ECB is expected to strike an even more dovish tone at
its policy meeting on Thursday following a sharp drop in euro
zone inflation in October.
UBS and RBS are anticipating an interest rate cut but many
others expect the ECB to hold fire on concrete action until at