Markets report: Apple rally boosts global stock markets
European shares rose on Wednesday, boosted by some strong earnings updates and a rising tech sector after results from Apple exceeded weak expectations, while investors' focus turned to eurozone GDP figures and the US Fed meeting.
Shares in AMS, which provides the facial-recognition technology used in Apple's iPhones, jumped 8.1pc after Apple surprised the market with solid iPhone X sales, confounding fears of a much weaker performance. Apple shares were up 3.6pc in pre-market trading. Other chipmakers including STMicroelectronics, Infineon, BE Semiconductor and ASML also gained 1.1pc to 3.8pc after the tech giant's results helped sentiment on the sector.
Europe's tech sector rose 1.1pc to a six-week high.
It helped the pan-European STOXX 600 climb 0.6pc, reaching its highest level since February 5 in early deals as investors awaited GDP data for the eurozone, and the US Federal Reserve meeting.
Mining stocks jumped 2.1pc, providing the bedrock for Europe's gains as copper prices recovered on strong China factory data.
Broadly strong earnings have been the main engine of the European index in recent weeks.
Thomson Reuters data showed that so far earnings growth for the eurozone MSCI EMU index was down 1.3pc for the first quarter, while MSCI Europe companies have reported 0.5pc earnings growth.
Earnings for the Europe-wide index have delivered a 1.2pc surprise thus far, meaning results have outperformed analysts' expectations.
Deutsche Bank strategists said results beats were set to increase.
"The gross beat ratio, at 44pc, is low, but our gross beats model - based on moves in the euro, commodities and global macro surprises - suggests that this is set to pick up during the remainder of the season," wrote Deutsche Bank's equity strategy team.
"Tech, consumer staples and energy have seen the strongest earnings per share growth for the companies that have reported so far," they added, saying financials and industrials have been the weakest.
Among results disappointments, Paddy Power Betfair was the worst-performing on the European index, down 6.3pc after first-quarter earnings fell. The bookmaker also announced a £500m (€568m) share buyback programme. (Reuters)