Good earnings help European shares stay at highs

Good earnings help European shares stay at highs
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Ralph Orlowski(Reuters)
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MILAN (Reuters) - European stocks inched up in early trading on Friday and were set to end the week at six-week highs, helped by an easing of fears over U.S tariffs, and good company results.

Shares in consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser, construction groups Saint Gobain and Vinci and bank BBVA rose following well-received results, lifting the STOXX 600 up 0.16 percent by 0716 GMT.

The pan-European benchmark ended at its highest level since mid-June on Thursday as hopes of a breakthrough in U.S.-EU trade talks boosted carmakers, which rely on exports for growth. It was on track to end the week up 1.4 percent.

Autos were largely steady on Friday, with Renault falling 0.8 percent. The French carmaker achieved record profitability in the first half as emerging-market sales surged. Traders said results were in line with expectations.

Miner BHP Billiton rose 3.4 percent after BP agreed to buy its U.S. shale oil and gas assets for $10.5 billion. BP shares fell 1 percent.

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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