July 23 (Reuters) - European stocks rose on Friday and were on track to close the week higher, as optimism about the earnings season and the European Central Bank’s pledge of continued monetary support outweighed risks of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4% by 0719 GMT to trade at over one-week high.
Automakers were the top gainers in early trading.
French car parts maker Valeo jumped 8.1% after it posted higher first-half sales and profit, and said it expected the shortage of key technology chips to ease.
Peers Faurecia and Continental AG rose 5.6% and 3% respectively.
Rafale jets maker Dassault Aviation climbed 7.1% on reporting higher sales and profits in the first half of the year, while UK mobile operator Vodafone rose 2.6% after reporting a better-than-expected 3.3% rise in first-quarter service revenue.
Early readings of IHS Markit’s July manufacturing and services sector activity for the euro zone and United Kingdom are due later in the day, with numbers expected to slip from compared with strong June data.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Vinay Dwivedi)