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Earnings Support European Stocks ahead of GDP Data

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April 30 Reuters European stocks inched higher on Friday, as strong corporate earnings lifted investor spirits ahead of the release of euro zone economic growth data for the first quarter.

The panEuropean STOXX 600 index was up 0.2 by 0720 GMT. The benchmark hovered below its alltime high and was on course to end April 2.3 higher.

British drugmaker AstraZeneca gained 2.7 on reporting betterthanexpected results and forecasting sales growth.

Swedish Match rose 1.9 after the tobacco group reported a much higher firstquarter operating profit than expected.

However, Barclays tumbled 6.2 despite reporting a quarterly profit that more than doubled, while Frances BNP Paribas slipped 1.0 after betterthanexpected profit.

All eyes are now on the euro zones GDP data due at 0900 GMT. The economy is forecast to have shrunk 2 in the first quarter versus a 4.9 fall in the final quarter of last year.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

Source Reuters

 

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