* FTSEurofirst 300 index gains 0.2 percent
* Airbus, ThyssenKrupp help industrial shares
* Peripheral euro zone shares under pressure
By Atul Prakash and Blaise Robinson
LONDON, May 13 European equities rose on
Tuesday, with some benchmarks hitting multi-year highs, on
upbeat company results and a report that Germany's central bank
is ready to back new stimulus measures from the ECB.
Airbus Group surged 6.3 percent in a relief rally
after it reported better-than-expected profits and said its
latest jetliner was "progressing towards certification" in time
for first delivery by the end of the year.
The Franco-German aerospace giant was the top gainer on the
pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index.
Shares in ThyssenKrupp also surged, up 5.3 percent
after the German steelmaker posted its first quarterly net
profit in two years - beating analyst estimates - and raised its
forecast for full-year operating profit.
"The current environment is pretty good for industrials and
their shares are likely to perform well going forward," said
Christian Stocker, equity strategist at UniCredit in Munich.
"We are overweight the sector as capital expenditure by
industrial companies in Europe is increasing. Recent earnings
results have also reflected that trend."
Airbus and ThyssenKrupp helped the STOXX Europe 600
industrial goods and services sector to advance 0.9
percent, the top sectoral gainer in Europe.
Roughly three quarters of the way into the European earnings
season, STOXX 600 companies have posted on average a
2.5 percent rise in profits and a 0.7 percent rise in revenues,
according to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine. That has
fuelled hopes of a long-awaited rebound in corporate profits
"This first-quarter earnings season reflects the recovery in
the macroeconomic landscape and, although it's moderate, the
negative currency impact seems lower than in the previous
quarter," said Joffrey Ouafqa, a fund manager at Convictions AM
"If the macro recovery is confirmed, company results and
share prices will follow. That's what the market needs at this
point because stocks are trading at fair value now."
At 1343 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,366,75 points after
rising to a high of 1,369.04, a level not seen since May 2008,
while the UK's FTSE 100 hit a 14-year high.
Traders said sentiment was lifted by a report saying
Germany's Bundesbank would support a European Central Bank rate
cut if one was needed. It would also back other measures such as
negative rates on bank deposits and purchases of packaged bank
loans to keep inflation from staying too low.
PROFIT-TAKING IN PERIPHERY
Despite the overall rally on Tuesday, investors booked
profits on shares in peripheral euro zone markets such as Italy,
Portugal and Ireland which have outperformed strongly since the
start of the year.
Italy's FTSE MIB and Portugal's PSI 20
were both down 0.8 percent. The two indexes are up 13 percent
and 12 percent year-to-date respectively, strongly outpacing the
FTSEurofirst 300, up 3.8 percent over the same period.
"It's been an amazing run so far this year for Italian
stocks," said Riccardo Designori, market analyst at Brown
Editore in Milan. "But now there are worries in Italy about
potential changes to the level of taxation on capital gains and
a lot of people are quietly booking profits just in case, so the
rally might stall."
Among individual movers, shares in British low-cost airline
easyJet, which have risen around 50 percent in the past
year, dropped 4 percent after disappointing some analysts by
breaking a recent trend of upgrading forecasts.
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 Blaise Robinson in Paris; Editing by