London: European shares rose early on Wednesday, up for a seventh session, with investor sentiment boosted by forecast-beating results from US chipmaker Intel which helped technology stocks deliver strong gains.
By 0813 GMT the FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.3% at 1,048.42. It had closed 1.9% higher on Tuesday at a three-week high.
Intel, the world’s top micro-chip maker, reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, allaying fears that companies may be slowing down their spending on technology.
Europe’s technology sector advanced 1.8%, with STMicroelectronics, Infineon and ARM Holdings gaining 2.8 to 3.2%.
ASML Holdings was the star performer, adding 5.3% after it raised its 2010 sales outlook as robust demand for its chip-making machines drove better-than-expected second-quarter results.
“Corporate figures are better than expected, and that’s adding to strength and for now the corporate market has got its tail up,” said Justin Urquhart-Stewart, investment director at Seven Investment Management.
The brighter corporate outlook helped boost expectations for demand for metals, which in turn helped lift mining stocks.
Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Xstrata added 1 to 1.3%.
The Euro STOXX 50, which comprises European blue chips, has gained 5.4% over the last two weeks.
BP was a drag on the index, down 0.7%. The troubled oil major said it delayed a critical test to determine if it can close a cap on top of its ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico.
The stock is still up 27% this month, though it is down 38% since the leak started in April.
Urquart-Stewart at Seven Investment Management saw gains from equities as vulnerable to a fragile economy.
“The concern is later in the year that the outlook will be pretty opaque and forward growth indicators could show there will be a slowdown in growth.”