February 20, 2018 / 8:49 AM / 2 years ago

HSBC weighs on banks as European stocks advance

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares rose on Tuesday thanks to a slew of well-received results, though banks were a weak spot after HSBC (HSBA.L) reported weaker than expected earnings and said it needed as much as $7 billion of fresh capital.

The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 19, 2018. REUTERS/Staff/Remote

The pan-regional STOXX 600 benchmark ended the session with a gain of 0.6 percent, while the banking index .SX7P declined 0.1 percent.

A weaker euro also helped euro zone stocks make headway after a lacklustre start to the week.

HSBC dropped 3 percent after its trading update, the last under outgoing CEO Stuart Gulliver, who has pushed through a painful restructuring of Europe’s biggest bank by market value.

Credit Suisse analysts said HSBC’s pledge to undertake share buybacks “as and when appropriate” could mark a change in capital-return strategy by the new management.

Elsewhere, some positive earnings buoyed sentiment.

Edenred (EDEN.PA) was among top performers, rising 6.5 percent after the French provider of prepaid meal vouchers and cards reported record 2017 earnings, increased its dividend and expressed confidence for 2018.

Danish software developer Simcorp (SIM.CO) led the STOXX index with a 12.2 percent rise after its full-year results.

Energy stocks supported indices, with BP (BP.L), Total (TOTF.PA), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS) and ENI (ENI.MI) up between 0.2 percent and 1.6 percent.

Among regional indexes, London’s FTSE 100 was flat, with the world’s biggest miner, BHP BLT.L, joining HSBC among fallers as it dropped by 4.6 percent after missing results forecasts.

InterContinental Hotels (IHG.L) fell 2.7 percent after putting shareholder payouts on ice as it pursues a new strategy to accelerate growth.

Swiss financial software company Temenos (TEMN.S) was 6 percent lower after news that it was in talks to buy British rival Fidessa Group FDSA.L for about 1.4 billion pounds.

Germany’s HeidelbergCement (HEIG.DE) gained 0.3 percent after raising its target for savings resulting from the takeover of Italcementi for the third time in less than a year.

Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer and David Goodman

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