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European markets end higher

European markets end higher

European shares ended higher Wednesday after shaking off early losses, helped by a rebound in sentiment throughout markets as well as some well-received leisure sector results.
The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.5 percent to 6,132.20, the German DAX 30 index edged up to 7,439.18 and the French CAC-40 index advanced 0.4 percent to 5,520.2.
Investors are beginning to differentiate between European and U.S. companies exposed to the U.S. housing and credit markets, said Peter Dixon, an equity strategist at Commerzbank.
"The bulk of the U.S. problems are probably going to be felt by U.S. institutions," he said. "European companies are beginning to be assessed again on the basis of European fundamentals, present situations and outlook."
Still, this doesn't mean the equity market will recover quickly. "On the whole, stocks will probably remain sluggish and volatility will persist, but I don't think we're going to see a meltdown," Dixon said.
Hotels operator Accor, which owns chains including budget Motel 6 and the upmarket Sofitel brand, gained 5.9 percent after saying first-half profit more than doubled on the sale of properties and higher sales.
Shares in hotel and restaurant operator Whitbread, which operates the Premier Travel Inn hotels, Costa coffee chains, and Brewers Fayre restaurants, rose 3.4 percent in London after the company said it'll start to buy back shares in an effort to increase leverage.
Mobile phone maker Nokia was up 6.4 percent after it unveiled new Internet services and gadgets to help customers download music and play games on mobile handsets _ in a strong push to challenge rivals, including Apple's iTunes and iPod.
Financial companies such as asset manager Invesco, up 2 percent, and banking group Barclays, up 1.9 percent, managed to stage a turnaround from recent weakness.
"It could be bargain hunting. Markets are still fixated on credit conditions," noted Philip Shaw, strategist at Investec Securities. "The Federal Reserve minutes showed that members were aware of the potential impact."
Mining company Antofagasta rose 1.2 percent after saying first-half net profit gained 12 percent as metal prices rose. Profit was boosted by higher copper prices.
Copper producer Xstrata closed down 0.7 percent.
Shares in online poker and casino operator PartyGaming bounced off record lows Wednesday to rise 23 percent after a sharp rise in new customers helped it beat earnings expectations, though it swung to an overall net loss due to the U.S. crackdown on Internet gambling.
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Sarah Turner is a correspondent of Dow Jones Newswires.


Updated : 2021-08-02 08:03 GMT+08:00