By Srothy Shankar and Susan Matthew
(Reuters) – European stocks rose on Wednesday after their worst session the day before, as optimism about a strong earnings season offset fears of a rapid rise in coronavirus cases in some countries.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7 per cent after its seven-week rise that hit profit-taking on Tuesday, when it fell 1.9 per cent.
* Health stocks provided the biggest boost to the STOXX 600 index. Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche rose 3% after expecting an increase in demand for its drugs during the remainder of 2021.
Semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML gained 4.1% to support technology stocks after increasing its full-year sales forecast, citing strong demand amid a global shortage of computer chips. Smaller competitor ASM International shares rose 1.2%, estimating a rise in second-quarter orders.
* European corporate profits are expected to rise by a record 61% in the first quarter of 2021, according to data from Refinitiv IBES, putting Europe on the right track to achieve a rare outperformance against US companies.
* German fashion house Hugo Boss jumped 6.7% to a one-year high, as dealers cited a media report on the company’s interest in the acquisition, including French luxury goods company LVMH.
* The world’s second-largest brewery, Heineken NV, and French luxury goods group Kering were among other stocks that rose after positive results.
* Among the setbacks, Italian club Juventus collapsed by 13.7% after the team’s president and one of the founders of the Europa League, Andrea Agnelli, said the league could no longer move forward after six English clubs withdrew.
(Report by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru, edited in Spanish by Manuel Farias)