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Europe Shares Extend Gains as Traders Digest Mixed Earnings

  • STOXX 600 up 0.3%
  • Saab rises on outlook raise
  • Volvo Cars falls as Q2 profit drops
  • TSMC's forecast sparks selloff in chipmakers

July 20 (Reuters) - European shares advanced on Thursday as investors assessed mixed earnings from companies in the region, although semiconductor stocks saw a heavy selloff after Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC delivered a downbeat sales forecast.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.3% by 0817 GMT after a subdued open.

The index extended gains for a third session, supported by upbeat corporate earnings and signs of a sharp slowdown in British consumer inflation that added to hopes global price pressures eased.

UK's blue-chip FTSE 100 was at a one-month high, with Anglo American up 5.3% and at the top of the index after the global miner's first-half copper production surged 42%.

"It seems like a lot of people have taken the weakening CPI as a cue to start buying UK markets again," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG Group.

On the flip side, disappointing results from big U.S. names Netflix and Tesla kept markets on edge, with their Frankfurt-listed shares falling 7.7% and 3.8%, respectively.

The technology sub-index, which gained nearly 23% so far this year, was the biggest sectoral loser in Europe with a 2% drop.

Semiconductor firms including ASML, ASM International and Aixtron fell between 3% and 5.3% after TSMC forecast a drop in 2023 sales with global economic woes denting demand for chips.

"They (European chipmakers) have done incredibly well so they're struggling to find more upside from here. If we can see demand picking up from a lot of computer makers that could give the sector a bit of lift," said Beauchamp.

Second-quarter earnings for STOXX 600 companies are expected to fall 9.2% from the previous year, based on Refinitiv IBES data.

Saab climbed 3.5% after the Swedish defence group raised its organic sales growth forecast, while Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor gained 5.1% after reporting second-quarter earnings slightly above expectations.

Shares of Volvo Cars dropped 2.5% after the carmaker posted a 54% fall in its second-quarter operating earnings.

Investor focus is also on key central bank meetings due next week, with traders expecting the European Central Bank to deliver a 25-basis-point rate hike.

Among other stocks, Electrolux dropped 14.6% to the bottom of the STOXX 600 after Europe's biggest home appliances maker swung to a loss in the second quarter, followed by a 10% drop in Essity after its second-quarter core earnings missed estimates.

Reporting by Amruta Khandekar; Editing by Varun H K and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Source: Reuters

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