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* Tech sector under pressure as Apple earnings disappoint
* STOXX 600 posts worst week, month since March
* Total gains as it retains dividend
Oct 30 (Reuters) - Some strong earnings helped European
stocks end higher on Friday, but they posted their sharpest
weekly and monthly declines since a brutal selloff in March, as
a new round of coronavirus lockdowns dampened prospects for a
sustained economic recovery.
Gains in energy major Total and some Spanish banks
after upbeat results boosted the pan-European index
which finished a volatile session up 0.2%.
Data showing the euro zone economy rebounded more strongly
than expected also helped prop up markets, but fears that the
recovery would be cut short as countries reintroduce
restrictions to stem a second wave of the pandemic kept gains in
With Spain, one of Europe's worst COVID-19 hot spots,
declaring a state of emergency until early May, and Germany and
France reimposing tight restrictions this week, the STOXX 600
lost more than 5% on the week, pushing the monthly
performance into negative territory.
"After the drubbing it took earlier in the week, Europe is
managing to avoid any bigger losses," said Chris Beauchamp,
chief market analyst at online trader IG.
"Better GDP figures might be helping ... but it is more
likely due to a grateful realisation that even if Q4 is
absolutely dire, the ECB will be along in due course with some
form of rescue programme."
On Thursday, the central bank gave its clearest signal yet
that it will ease policy in December to help the economy through
the health crisis.
Heading into the week of U.S. Presidential elections, a
slide in Wall Street's big tech stocks after earnings overnight
also weighed on global sentiment, with Europe's tech sector
Apple suppliers ASM International, Dialog
Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics fell
between 1.2% and 1.7% after the late launch of new 5G iPhones
caused customers to put off buying new devices.
Spain's blue-chip IBEX was supported by
better-than-expected earnings from lenders Banco Sabadell
French oil and gas producer Total rose 2.8% after
it maintained its dividend despite a sharp drop in third-quarter
Third-quarter earnings season has been largely supportive,
with 74% of the nearly half the STOXX 600 companies that
reported so far topping profit estimates, according to Refinitiv
But video game maker Ubisoft slipped to the bottom
of the STOXX 600 after it cut its outlook for the year as the
COVID-19 pandemic delayed the production of blockbuster games
Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six Quarantine.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj
Kalluvila and Steve Orlofsky)