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Solid BP update pushes European shares to 9 week high as banks rebound

European shares
European shares
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Solid BP update pushes European shares to 9 week high as banks rebound


European shares hit nine-week highs on Tuesday as a recovery in banks and gains in oil stocks on stronger crude prices and a solid update from major BP helped offset some disappointing updates including from Apple supplier AMS.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index up 0.5 percent at its highest since Dec. 3 at 0839 GMT, while euro zone stocks added 0.4 percent and the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.8 percent.

BP said its profit doubled to $12.7 billion in 2018, driven by strong growth in oil and gas output following the acquisition of a large portfolio of U.S. shale assets.

Its shares rose 3.4 percent, set for their best day since September 2016, helping the oil index lead sectoral gainers in early trading, up more than 1 percent.

Gains in iron ore prices amid worries about falling output from top producer Vale supported miners, while euro zone banks, which have been under pressure due to concerns over a slowing economy and dovish central bank stances, recovered after six straight session of losses.

Earnings drove the biggest share price moves.

Top faller on the STOXX 600 was AMS, down more than 12 percent after the sensor specialist and Apple supplier skipped its dividend and said first-quarter revenue would fall amid continued weak smartphone demand.

In the same sector Infineon managed to shrug off a disappointing update, suggesting that recent price falls may have priced in the worsening outlook for the sector.

The firm forecast full-year revenue growth to the bottom of its earlier range, as the maker of high-performance power chips blamed increasingly difficult business conditions.

Pandora rallied 12 percent after announcing plans to make cost savings of 1.2 billion crowns as it faces a drop in organic revenue growth of between 3 and 7 percent this year.

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