Dovish Fed sends European shares at 2-month high as oil stocks rally

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Dovish Fed sends European shares at 2-month high as oil stocks rally
Credit: © Reuters.

MILAN, Jan 31 (Reuters) - A dovish policy decision by the Federal Reserve overnight supported European shares on Thursday with higher crude prices and a strong update from Shell sending oil stocks rallying and helping offset poor updates from Nokia and Unilever .

The STOXX 600 .STOXX index rose 0.4 percent to its highest since Dec. 4 in early trading and on track for its best monthly performance since October 2015.

Germany's DAX .GDAXI and the UK's FTSE rose 1 and 0.7 percent respectively.

Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L said profits jumped by more than a third last year to $21.4 billion, the highest since 2014, sending its shares up more than 3 percent and making the oil index the biggest sectoral gainer in Europe. results also from Diageo DGE.L , up 3.9 percent after the world's largest spirits company posted higher half-year sales on Thursday, helped by strength in India and China. from the Fed and the strong update from Shell however were partly offset by some disappointing updates, which could trigger further downgrades to earning expectations as the economic outlook remains gloomy.

Swatch UHR.S tumbled 7.6 percent after the Swiss watchmaker posted lower-than-expected results amid a downturn in Asia and France, while a disappointing update sent Germany's Software SOWGn.DE down 8 percent to the bottom of the STOXX.

Nokia NOKIA.HE was another heavy faller, down 5.6 percent and on track for its worst day since Oct 2017, as it forecast a soft first half after beating fourth-quarter profit and sales expectations. goods giant Unilever ULVR.L was down 2.6 percent as it reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, hurt by inflation in Argentina and flat volume growth in developed markets. have been steadily cutting profit expectations for European firms. According to Refintiv IBES, fourth-quarter earnings for the STOXX 600 are expected to have grown less than 4 percent, from more than 10 percent expected last month.

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