August 5, 2014 / 12:05 PM / in 3 years

Robust earnings help European stocks to bounce back

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.6 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.4 pct

* Credit Agricole bounces despite massive BES hit

* Market rebound seen as technical

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Aug 5 (Reuters) - European shares gained ground on Tuesday in a tentative rebound following last week’s sharp sell-off, supported by forecast-beating results from blue-chips such as BMW.

Shares in the German car maker gained 1.4 percent after it reported a 26 percent jump in profits, helped in part by strong sales in China.

French bank Credit Agricole rose 4.1 percent, trimming recent sharp losses, as the bank - which took a 708 million euro hit from its stake in troubled Portuguese lender Banco Espirito Santo - still managed to beat analyst expectations for second-quarter results.

At 1130 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.6 percent, at 1,338.40 points.

The index was bouncing off a key support level, its 200-day moving average, tested in the past two sessions. But traders warned that this could be a technical rebound and that the sell-off could soon resume.

The FTSEurofirst 300 has lost 4.3 percent in the past month, as the prospect of tighter U.S. monetary policy, trouble at Banco Espirito Santo as well as fresh sanctions against Russia prompted investors to book hefty profits made in the first part of the year.

“This is mostly a technical bounce after such a slide, but the background remains the same: The Ukrainian crisis still poses a serious risk to Europe, and I don’t think it’s priced in already, especially by retail investors,” Riccardo Designori, market analyst at Brown Editore in Milan, said.

“Countries like Germany and Italy depend on Russia for oil and gas. The crisis can seriously escalate when the winter kicks in. Just think about all the German companies with exposure to Russia, or Italian names such as Enel, Eni, and Pirelli. This crisis is far from over.”

Last week, the European Union and the United States unveiled further sanctions against Russia, targeting its energy, banking and defence sectors in the strongest international action yet over Moscow’s support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Around Europe on Tuesday, UK’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 up 0.6 percent, and Spain’s IBEX down 0.2 percent.

Germany’s DAX index, which has recently been underperforming due to the country’s exposure to Russia, was up 0.5 percent.

“I don’t think the German market is out of the woods yet,” said Markus Huber, a senior trader at Peregrine & Black, who expected the DAX to fall to 9,000 points. “At the moment we’re taking a breather but we should be going down after that.”

Deutsche Post surged 3.3 percent after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly operating profit.

Vivendi added 3.5 percent after Spain’s Telefonica unveiled a 6.7 billion euro ($8.99 billion) offer for the French firm’s Brazilian business GVT. Shares in Telefonica were down 0.9 percent.

Europe bourses in 2014:

Asset performance in 2014:

Today’s European research round-up

Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa in London. Editing by Jane Merriman

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