European shares up 1 pct as earnings brighten mood

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - European shares climbed higher in early trading on Wednesday, with strong updates from companies such as computer peripherals maker Logitech and Spain’s Banco Santander boosting the broader equity market.

The benchmark STOXX 600 was up 1 percent and poised for its best day in six weeks.

European banks rose 1.8 percent, led higher by Banco Santander which reported a 4 percent rise in its 2016 net profit as improved results in Brazil helped offset a weak performance in Britain. Its shares were up 4.4 percent to their highest levels since September 2015.

Spain’s IBEX rose 1.7 percent.

Shares in Logitech hit their highest level since late 2008 and were last quoted nearly 16 percent higher after the company reported a jump in quarterly earnings and raised its outlook. It also recorded a forecast-beating 13 percent rise in quarterly sales, the highest in the company’s 35-year history.

Britain’s WH Smith rose more than 7 percent after saying it expected full-year profit growth to be slightly ahead of expectations as it posted strong sales in its travel business over the Christmas period.

BT Group shares were down 0.5 percent, still on the backfoot after losing a fifth of their value in the previous session following a cut to its financial forecasts. (Reporting by Atul Prakash, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)