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Europe open: Miners outshine weak corporate results

European shares opened higher on Thursday despite poor earnings results from aviation heavyweight Airbus and a mixed session overnight on Wall Street as miners lifted the gloom.
he pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.05%. Major regional bourses were mixed, with Germany’s DAX flat, the UK’s FTSE 100 down 0.17% and France’s CAC 40 0.08% lower.

“It seems that the Dow Jones is becoming divorced from the European indices, the US index’s record high-hitting run failing to inspire the same energy in its continental peers,” said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

“Without much data on the agenda – it’s all saved for tomorrow, with UK retail sales and the flash PMIs for February – the European indices snoozed through their alarms.”

In equity news, miners were the standout gainers, with Rio Tinto, Glencore, Antofagasta and Anglo American all higher as metals prices advanced.

Shares in Airbus fell 3.16% as it posted an annual loss and withheld a dividend due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

UK medical equipment maker Smith & Nephew shares fell 7% after warning the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact would continue into the first half with uncertainty around the timing of any recovery.

French telecoms firm Orange was 4.22% lower after reporting a drop in core operating profit in the fourth quarter.

Barclays was in the red even after it reinstated its dividend and said it would buy back up to £700m of shares as the bank reported annual profit ahead of forecasts.

French mall owner Klepierre was down 2.7% on the back of reporting a 25% drop in 2020 net rental income on Wednesday, as on-and-off restrictions in its home market and the rest of Europe shuttered stores with a knock-on effect for landlords.

Moneysupermarket reported a drop in full-year profit on Thursday as revenues, in particular in the travel segments, were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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