* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 pct
* Daimler, Akzo rise after forecast-beating results
* Investors keeping wary eye on Ukraine crisis
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, July 23 Forecast-beating earnings from
carmaker Daimler and chemicals group Akzo Nobel
lifted European shares on Wednesday, offsetting
concerns about a ramping up of sanctions against Russia over the
Germany's blue chip DAX index rose 0.5 percent, led
higher by car and truck maker Daimler.
Daimler rose 1.5 percent after it posted earnings above
expectations, following strong demand for new models of its
high-end Mercedes-Benz cars in countries such as China.
Akzo Nobel also advanced by 4 percent after posting
higher-than-expected second quarter earnings. Both Akzo Nobel
and Daimler contributed the most points to a 0.4 percent advance
on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index.
"The results season so far has not been too bad," said
Mirabaud Securities' European equity sales executive Rupert
The FTSEurofirst 300 remains some 1.4 percent below its June
and July peaks, which marked its highest level in six-and-a-half
The index has retreated over the last week after a Malaysian
passenger plane was shot down on July 17 over rebel-held
territory in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev is struggling to quell
a pro-Russian separatist rebellion, killing 298 people.
Western powers have accused pro-Russia rebels of having shot
down the plane by mistake and the European Union has raised the
prospect of restricting Russian access to European capital
markets, defence and energy technology.
However, stock markets have not sold off too aggressively in
the wake of the crisis between Ukraine and Russia.
Mirabaud Securities' Baker said China was a more important
market for German carmakers than Russia.
Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital, said that, while
many investors remained concerned about the situation in
Ukraine, the majority only saw a small risk of it leading to a
more serious conflict between the West and Russia.
"The market is worrying about a serious escalation, but I
believe there's a fairly small chance of that. With the earnings
being better, that's giving traders a reason to be positive
despite the uncertainty," said Rundle.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(additional reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Gareth