* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.4 pct
* Market relieved as China intervenes to ease credit squeeze
* Gloomy corporate updates temper optimism
* Unilever bucks trend with earnings beat
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Jan 21 European shares edged higher
early on Tuesday as relief at moves to defuse a cash squeeze in
China was tempered by a batch of disappointing corporate
The People's Bank of China dumped more than 255 billion yuan
($42 billion) into the financial system, easing concerns about a
credit crunch that could hamper growth in the world's No.2
"People don't want to see instability in China," Grant
Lewis, head of research at Daiwa Capital Markets, said.
"If (Chinese authorities) want to move forward in terms of
liberalisations you are going to have this kind of volatility in
money rates but they do seem to be doing what they can to tackle
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of Europe's largest
shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,347.53 at 0840 GMT, while the
euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 was up 0.4
percent at 3,165.64 points.
Waning economic momentum in China, which is revamping its
growth model by embracing greater transparency and
higher-quality development, has been hitting corporate earnings
Shares in Remy Cointreau fell 2.3 percent on
Tuesday as the French spirits group said sales contracted more
than feared in the third quarter as a Chinese government
crackdown on corruption caused once free-wheeling spenders to
drink less premium cognac.
It was among to fallers on the STOXX Europe 600
index, which was up 0.3 percent.
The beverage sector was also weighed down by a 2.2 percent
fall in SABMiller, the world's No. 2 brewer, with
traders saying a 4 percent increase in quarterly net producer
revenue was weaker than they expected.
Adding to the gloomy earnings picture for the broader
market, Dutch food and chemicals group DSM fell short
of its full-year earnings target and French engineering firm
Alstom lowered its annual objectives, sending the
stocks down 7.8 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
"The market has been rising on hopes that a pick-up in
global growth would translate into corporate earnings.
Evidently, we're not there yet," a Paris-based trader said.
Bucking the trend, consumer goods maker Unilever
reported better-than-expected 2013 results on Tuesday,
with an improved performance in emerging markets. Its stock rose
Companies in the STOXX Europe 600 are seen missing consensus
expectations by 1.3 percent in the latest quarter, according to
StarMine's SmartEstimates, which focus on the up-to-date
predictions form historically most accurate analysts.
Today's European research round-up
Europe indexes in 2014: