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European Stocks Bounce Back on Earnings Support

  • Bank earnings week kicks off with UBS, HSBC, Santander
  • Miners, oil stocks rebound
  • ECB has room for 2-3 rate hikes this year - ECB's Kazaks
  • Maersk hikes profit outlook on strong Q1
  • Bank stocks track best day in nearly a week

April 26 (Reuters) - European shares breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday as earnings from companies including Swiss bank UBS and shipping giant Maersk boosted sentiment, following an equity sell-off in the previous session driven by global growth fears.

The continent-wide STOXX 600 rose 0.6% after plunging nearly 2% on Monday on worries of an economic slowdown in China and rapid U.S. interest rate hikes.

Miners led gains after slumping on Monday. Nearly all subsectors and regional markets were in the black.

"Yesterday was a battering, while today is a breather," said Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell.

"Earnings will be a mixed bag as they will be sorely tested by price hikes in Europe, but investors are going to latch onto good news to sink their teeth into, because they expect the rest (of the earnings) to be volatile or really disappoint."

Bank stocks, which are down more than 7% this year, tracked their best day in nearly a week after a series of earnings results from major European banks.

UBS gained 1.8% after reporting its best first-quarter net profit in 15 years, offering a sharp contrast to the profit declines U.S. peers reported this month.

Spain's Santander gained 1.1% after quarterly profit beat forecasts, rising 58% helped to higher revenue and efficiency gains in Europe. 

HSBC fell 2.1% after Europe's biggest bank warned more share buybacks were unlikely this year owing to rising inflation and economic weakness, even as quarterly profit fell by less than expected. 

Credit Suisse Group, Barclays, and Deutsche Bank are among other European banks set to report over the next few days.

Maersk surged 5.6% after raising its full-year forecast driven by high container freight rates. 

Drugmaker Novartis rose 0.9% after quarterly income rose 3%, while recruiter Randstad added 1.0% after beating earnings expectations as firms continued to scramble for workers. 

Meanwhile, investor focus was on the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting next week and comments from European Central Bank officials. The ECB should raise rates soon and has room for up to three hikes this year, ECB policymaker Martins Kazaks told Reuters.

Money markets are pricing in more than 80 basis points of ECB interest rate rises by the year-end. IRPR

Reporting by Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

Source: Reuters

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