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European Equities Extend Gains as Investors Focus on Corporate Earnings

By Investors Hub

European stocks are extending gains from the previous session on Thursday as investors took in stride the possibility of more interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and turned their focus back to corporate earnings.

While the French CAC 40 Index has jumped by 1.4 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.6 percent and the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.4 percent.

Dutch insurer Aegon has rallied after its fourth quarter profit more than doubled due to a $554 million gain from U.S. tax reform.

Engineering and consultancy company Arcadis NV has also surged higher reporting a 10 percent increase full-year net income.

Schneider Electric shares have moved to the upside in Paris. The electrical equipment producer overcame currency headwinds to post a record net profit in 2017.

Airbus is also soaring after the European plane maker posted improved earnings last year on the back of record plane deliveries.

French IT services group Capgemini has jumped after its annual revenues topped forecasts, driven by demand for digital and cloud services.

Meanwhile, Swiss food giant Nestle has fallen as its 2017 earnings fell short of expectations amid challenging environments in the North American and Brazilian markets.

Indivior shares have also slumped after the British pharmaceuticals group booked a one-time cost of $185 million to deal with antitrust and other litigation.

In economic news, the euro area trade surplus increased in December from the previous month on higher exports, Eurostat reported.

The trade surplus rose to a seasonally adjusted 23.8 billion euros in December from 22 billion euros in November. The expected level was 22.3 billion euros.

Statistical office Insee said France’s unemployment rate declined in the fourth quarter to the lowest level since early 2009.

The ILO jobless rate in metropolitan France and the overseas departments came in at 8.9 percent of the labor force, the lowest since early 2009. The rate decreased by 0.7 percentage points sequentially.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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