April 29, 2014 / 7:55 AM / in 4 years

Tech leads European shares higher on Nokia, Infineon figures

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.6 pct, Euro STOXX 50 0.6 pct

* Infineon, Nokia lead rally in tech shares after results beat

* Better numbers also boost D. Bank, Statoil

* Ukraine crisis keeps traders on edge

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Tuesday, led by tech shares as estimate-topping results from chipmaker Infineon and telecommunication gear maker Nokia brightened the outlook for the sector.

Infineon and Nokia were among the top risers on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index after they reported quarterly earnings boosted respectively by demand from automotive and industrial customers and by software deals.

The strong numbers helped improve market sentiment around the tech sector, which had been dented by weak updates from ASML , Ericsson and SAP earlier this month.

The STOXX Europe 600 Tech index was up 1.7 percent at 0741 GMT, outpacing all other sector indexes.

Upbeat results by heavyweights such as Norwegian oil & gas group Statoil and Germany’s largest lender Deutsche Bank also boosted the broader market.

They more than outweighed disappointing figures from Swiss engineering group ABB, which posted an unexpected fall in first-quarter profit because of weak power system orders, and from Swedish hygiene and paper products maker SCA, whose earnings rose slightly less than expected.

“We haven’t had any nasty surprises in earnings so far, which is good news for the market, although we’re still far from a genuine rebound in profits that everyone is hoping for this year,” a Paris-based trader said.

Overall, Europe’s earnings season has been mixed so far, StarMine data showed.

About 22 percent of companies listed on the STOXX Europe 600 index reported quarterly results through April 28, with 55 percent having beaten or met analysts’ expectations.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, was 0.6 percent higher at 1,344.57 points. The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 was also up 0.6 percent, at 3,183.88 points.

Tensions between western powers and Russia over Ukraine kept traders on edge, with investors fearing further, costly cross-sanctions after those imposed by the United States on several Russian individuals and companies on Monday.

European indexes have struggled to make much headway since hitting multi-year highs earlier this month but charts on the Euro STOXX 50 showed the index was likely to surge after this period of lull, according to Philippe Delabarre, a technical analyst at Trading Central.

He highlighted a symmetrical triangle on the index, a pattern formed by two converging lines which connect a series of sequentially lower peaks and higher troughs. Once the price breaches one of these lines, a sharp movement often follows.

“We still believe the symmetrical triangle, a bullish continuation pattern, is the main pattern to trade,” Delabarre said. “Therefore, as long as triangle’s basis at 2,970 is a support threshold, our target is 3,440, corresponding to the overlap between the March 2008 low and August 2008 high.”

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

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