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European shares steady, Ocado rally offsets UPM losses

LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - European shares steadied in early trading on Tuesday as a rally in companies such as British online supermarket Ocado on strong results was offset by weaker firms like UPM-Kymmene and Givaudan following their updates.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was trading 0.08 percent higher by 0828 GMT, after falling more than 1 percent in the previous session. It has gained 0.4 percent so far in January after rising in the previous two straight months.

Ocado shares traded nearly 7 percent higher, the top gainers in the STOXX 600 index, after reporting a 3.3 percent rise in full-year core earnings and saying that it was well positioned for growth.

However, Fragrance and flavour maker Givaudan slipped 5 percent after posting weaker-than-expected net profit in 2016 and proposing a dividend below expectations, as slowing demand in emerging markets made underlying sales growth ease towards the end of the year.

UPM-Kymmene was down 8.3 percent, the biggest faller in the STOXX 600 index, after the Finnish pulp and paper maker gave a cautious outlook for this year. The company, however, reported its quarterly profits slightly above market forecasts. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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