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Europe midday: Shares extend gains on earnings; THG plunges again

European shares extended morning gains on Tuesday, as strong earnings from Facebook overnight were augmented by solid results by UBS and Reckitt Benckiser.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.55% at midday with all major regional bourses higher.

“The continued resilience in stock markets is happening despite a backdrop of rising concern about increasing Covid cases in Asia, and the prospect of action by some central banks to rein back on stimulus,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

“The move higher is being helped by rising oil prices driving gains in the oil and gas sector. US crude prices hit a seven-year high after US rig counts fell for the first time in seven weeks, amidst concern over low inventory levels.”

In equity news, shares in Finnish engineering group Wartsila topped the Stoxx with a 9% gain as the company forecast “considerably better” demand in the final three months of the year, as the energy and marine sectors continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

UBS rose after the wealth manager posted a better-than-expected 9% increase in third quarter net profit.

Cleaning products maker Reckitt Benckiser jumped 6% after it raised its full-year forecast and beat estimates for third-quarter sales.

On the downside, THG shares plunged again, this time down 12.19% to 270p, after attempts to appease investors worries about governance fell flat. The stock floated at 500p a year ago, and at the start of the year were at 799p.

The company beefed up its board and shared more detailed information about its platform business Ingenuity as it tried to soothe investor nerves about plans to refocus efforts on the division.

Computer peripherals maker Logitech International fell 3.1% after it confirmed full-year earnings outlook on the boom in working from home, but warned of supply-chain disruptions.

Softcat shares were down more than 7%, despite reporting record full-year results amid strong public sector demand and a recovery in the corporate sector.

Swedish bearings manufacturer SKF fell 7% after missing third-quarter profit forecasts.

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