* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 percent
* Telecoms knocked by Mobistar warning
* Philips, UBS, Julius Baer boosted by profit beats
By David Brett
LONDON, July 22 European shares inched up on
Monday, buoyed near recent highs by strong results from Philips,
Julius Baer and UBS, while telecoms stocks dragged on the index
following a profit warning from Mobistar.
The Belgian telecoms operator slumped 28.5
percent, having cut its revenue and profit forecasts for this
year and suspended its dividend after a price war caused
earnings to tumble in the second quarter.
Telecoms, down 0.3 percent, were the biggest drag on
the FTSEurofirst 300, which rose 0.96 points, or 0.1
percent, to 1,209.95 by 0832 GMT.
The index is up around 8.7 percent since June lows and back
above its 50-day moving average.
Strategists said stock markets appeared to have finally
received and understood the message from the Federal Reserve
that U.S. monetary policy will remain supportive.
"Markets have been reassured by (Fed chief Ben) Bernanke's
comments last week," Adam Seagrave, trader at Saxo Bank, said.
But the eventual end to the Fed's stimulus programme would
keep trading volatile, encouraging investors to focus on the
corporate earnings season for the time being, he said.
Swiss private bank Julius Baer added 4.3 percent
after first-half profits beat estimates.
Dutch healthcare, lighting and consumer appliances group
Philips climbed 3.8 percent after reporting strong
Swiss lender UBS added 3.9 percent after another
In the early stages of the European quarterly earnings
season, 51 percent of companies that have reported results have
either met or beaten expectations, although year-on-year
second-quarter growth has contracted by 4 percent, according to
Thomson Reuters Starmine data, reflecting a tough economic
"In Europe at this stage ...our expectations are still
negative. Having said that, if you look at the economic surprise
(indicator), the situation is improving and we may have seen a
bottom," Eric Verleyen, chief investment officer at SG Hambros