Earnings support European stocks ahead of GDP data

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Earnings support European stocks ahead of GDP data
Credit: © Reuters.

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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 pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX was up 0.2% by 0720 GMT. The benchmark hovered below its all-time high and was on course to end April 2.3% higher.

British drugmaker AstraZeneca AZN.L gained 2.7% on reporting better-than-expected results and forecasting sales growth. Match SWMA.ST rose 1.9% after the tobacco group reported a much higher first-quarter operating profit than expected. Barclays BARC.L tumbled 6.2% despite reporting a quarterly profit that more than doubled, while France's BNP Paribas BNPP.PA slipped 1.0% after better-than-expected profit. eyes are now on the euro zone's 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.

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