* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.14 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.34 pct
* UBS stock hits two-year high, sparks rally in banks
* Portuguese shares soar as president rules out election
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, July 22 European shares rose to
seven-week highs on Monday, led by financials after upbeat
quarterly results from UBS fuelled hopes for European
Shares in the Swiss lender gained 2.5 percent and hit a
level not seen since early 2011, after it came out early with
Other banks also rallied, with BNP Paribas up 1.7
percent and UniCredit up 2.5 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares
closed 0.14 percent higher at 1,210.70 points, after rising to
as high as 1,213.24 points during the session, the index's
highest level since early June.
"The spotlight is finally back on corporate results.
Earnings have been relatively good so far, particularly from
U.S. banks, and there's another 160 S&P 500 firms set to report
this week," FXCM analyst Vincent Ganne said.
"The mood is very bullish. U.S. indexes are hitting record
highs; we're not there yet in Europe but we've crossed big
Dutch conglomerate Philips also posted
forecast-beating earnings, thanks to a strong performance in its
healthcare division, sending its stock up 2.1 percent.
About 21 percent of S&P 500 companies have reported results
so far in this earnings season, with 73 percent beating or
meeting profit forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.
In Europe, about 18 percent of the STOXX 600
companies have reported results so far, and just 51 percent of
the firms have beaten or met forecasts, according to StarMine.
Around Europe, UK's FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1
percent, Germany's DAX index ended flat, and France's
CAC 40 gained 0.4 percent.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
added 0.3 percent at 2,725.40 points, extending its recent
"European indexes are breaking above recent trading ranges,
and all the resistance zones have been pierced," Aurel BGC
chartist Gerard Sagnier said.
"The buying pressure is back, and it could be strong enough
to propel indexes towards 2013 highs."
Portuguese stocks soared on Monday, with Banco Espirito
Santo up 11 percent and Portugal Telecom up
2.8 percent, after the country's president ruled out a snap
election and soothed investor concerns about the debt-stricken
country's political stability.
Bucking the trend, Mobistar tumbled 31 percent
after the Belgian telecoms operator slashed its revenue and
profit forecasts and scrapped its dividend.