Retailers, cyclicals strength give European shares a leg-up; Pearson slumps again

LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) – A run higher for energy shares
and miners, as well as strong updates from retailers Burberry
and B&M helped drive European shares higher in early deals on
Wednesday, though renewed pain for publisher Pearson weighed on
the media sector.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.4
percent, as were the blue chips.

Luxury goods group Burberry was the second-top
gainer, rising around 4.3 percent after reporting 3 percent
underlying revenue growth in the first quarter, helped by
stronger demand in mainland China and continuing good
performance in its British market.

Peers Kering and LVMH also rose around 1

At the other end of the retail spectrum, discount store
operator B&M also rose more 4 percent after issuing a
trading update, in which it said that it was on track to achieve
profit targets for the full year.

With the European second quarter results season just around
the corner, expectations see earnings increasing by over 9
percent from the same period in 2016, which would be a rise of
over 6 percent excluding the energy sector, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S estimates.

Strength in oil and metals prices helped lift the
heavyweight European energy sector and basic resources
, which gained 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

The cyclical autos sector was helped by a 1.3
percent rise in Valeo shares, which gained after the
car parts maker said that it was eyeing a sale of a unit to

Education publisher Pearson continued its slide
from the previous day when it announced plan to sell its stake
in Penguin Random House, down around 4.6 percent as broker
downgrades and cuts to estimates rolled in.

Shares in British oil and gas services company Amec Foster
Wheeler were hit after confirming that Britain’s
Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was investigating the firm and
individuals associated with the business.
(Reporting by Kit Rees, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)