Earnings support European shares but oil slump weighs

* STOXX 600 index up 0.2 pct

* Adidas top gainer on earnings optimism

* Well received updates lift CHR, Persimmon

* But energy stocks weigh as oil drops
(Writes through, adds details, closing prices)

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, July 5 (Reuters) – European shares rose on Wednesday
at the end of a volatile session with gains among consumer
stocks, led by Adidas on optimism over its upcoming
earnings.

A renewed slide in oil prices kept a lid on the increase,
with the pan-European STOXX 600 index ending up 0.2
percent while the euro zone blue chip index closed
flat.

The top gainer on the STOXX was CHR Hansen after
the food ingredients maker beat third-quarter profit forecasts
and raised its revenue growth guidance.

Adidas was the second biggest, up 4.9 percent as brokers
sounded upbeat ahead of the sporting goods group’s earnings
release next month.

While DZ Bank added the stock to its long list expecting
strong numbers in Western Europe and China, HSBC said Adidas was
likely to increase its outlook, upgrading it to “buy”.

“We believe the sales growth story and associated margin
expansion plan make this stock a very visible compounder,” HSBC
analysts said in a note.

In London, housebuilder Persimmon jumped 2.4 percent
after it reported a 7 percent rise in first-half sales.

Oil prices retreated 3 percent, ending their longest bull
run in more than five years as rising OPEC exports and a
stronger dollar turned sentiment more bearish.

That hurt energy stocks, the biggest sectoral faller
in Europe this year, which fell 1.4 percent, wiping most points
off the STOXX index.

Miners, which also find support when oil prices
rise, ended up 0.2 percent, paring earlier gains that were
helped by a Credit Suisse sector upgrade to “overweight”.

Top faller in Europe was Worldpay, down 8.8 percent
after U.S. credit card processor Vantiv agreed to buy
the British payment company for 7.7 billion pounds.

In the previous session the stock soared nearly 30 percent
after news of rival approaches from Vantiv and JPMorgan,
which said on Wednesday it did not plan to make a counter bid.

Interest rate-sensitive utilities were another weak
spot, down 0.7 percent.

A rise in interest rates has been a focus for markets since
central banks hinted at a possible tightening in monetary
policy, with higher bond yields making high dividend-paying
stocks like utilities less attractive.
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni and Kit Rees; editing by John
Stonestreet)


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