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Ericsson, Volvo propel European stocks as Spain lags
October 20, 2017 / 7:30 AM / a month ago

Ericsson, Volvo propel European stocks as Spain lags

LONDON (Reuters) - Cyclical stocks lifted European shares on Friday, recovering some losses as well-received earnings reports boosted shares in Volvo and Ericsson, though ongoing political malaise held back Spanish equities.

The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Staff/Remote

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.1 percent, rebounding from its lowest closing level so far in October.

Spain's benchmark IBEX .IBEX was in negative territory, however, down 0.2 percent ahead of a special cabinet meeting on Saturday which could see Spain suspending Catalonia's autonomy.

While the IBEX is still up around 9 percent so far this year, it has lagged the STOXX 600 in October, down around 1.7 percent since Catalonia’s independence referendum on Oct 1.

“Things have not deteriorated sharply ... (and) because we haven’t actually got to that stage, I think it is quite helpful for the beginnings of a negotiation,” Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index, said, referring to potential negotiations between Madrid and Catalonia.

Elsewhere, company results were in focus, with Swedish truck maker Volvo (VOLVb.ST) the biggest STOXX riser, up 6.8 percent and hitting a record high after beating expectations.

Volvo was joined by Ericsson (ERICb.ST), whose shares jumped 3.4 percent after its update.

European third quarter earnings are expected to grow 4.5 percent from the same period in 2016, an increase of 1.3 percent excluding the energy sector, according to estimates from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

More broadly, cyclical sectors such as materials and financials were the biggest support to the STOXX, with banks .SX7P up 0.8 percent and basic resources .SXPP gaining 0.6 percent.

News that the U.S. Senate passed a budget blueprint which would pave the way for tax cuts, underpinned these more risky assets.

“Maybe with tax cuts now coming back onto the path in terms of possibly coming into being, that’s an additional boost and should actually underpin markets going into the end of the year,” City Index’s Odeluga said.

Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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