European stocks rebound slightly as earnings support

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Oct 29 (Reuters) - European stocks edged higher on Thursday after strong earnings reports from companies including oil major Royal Dutch Shell and chip equipment supplier ASM, but sentiment remained fragile a day after a broad selloff on lockdown fears.

After a shaky start, the pan-European index rose 0.4% by 0826 GMT, while the German DAX advanced 0.7% and UK’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 inched higher after touching multi-month lows on Wednesday.

Stock markets tumbled on Wednesday, after Europe’s biggest economies imposed nationwide restrictions almost as severe as the ones that drove the global economy this year into its deepest recession in generations.

All eyes are now on the European Central Bank, which is expected to leave its monetary policy unchanged, but could pave the way for action in December as the euro zone economy struggles from a second wave of coronavirus outbreak.

The ECB is scheduled to announce its policy decision at 1245 GMT.

In a busy day for earnings, Royal Dutch Shell rose 2.0% as it lifted its dividend after easily beating third-quarter profit forecasts.

Dutch firm ASM International gained 4.4% as it raised its guidance for the fourth quarter.

Nokia slumped 14.2% to the bottom of STOXX 600 after it cut its full-year profit forecast.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila