EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks End With Gains, Helped By Upbeat Earnings

By Carla Mozee and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Akzo Nobel CEO resigns

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European stocks finished with solid gains Wednesday, carried by well-received corporate earnings reports including from Swedish appliance maker Electrolux AB, while a more than $4 billion deal drew Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC shares higher .

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8% to end at 385.54, erasing most of the prior day's drop. The benchmark on Tuesday slid 1.1%, its worst session since June 29, after the euro marched up to a 14-month high.

Earnings wave: Attention on Wednesday swung to financial results. Electrolux (ELUXY) sprang up 3%. The maker of washing machines, refrigerators and other white goods raised its growth forecast for the North American market after solid demand from the region helped lift second-quarter net profit by 21% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/electrolux-profit-up-21-on-cost-savings-2017-07-19).

Shares of ASML Holding NV (ASML.AE) (ASML.AE) leapt 5.8% as the Dutch semiconductor company said second-quarter net income rose 3% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asml-income-rises-3-to-resume-share-buybacks-2017-07-19) from the previous quarter, and that it's resuming its share buyback program.

Tele2 AB shares (TEL2-B.SK) picked up 6.5% after the Swedish telecom operator raised forecast for EBITDA to a range of 6.2 billion kronor and 6.5 billion kronor. It previously expected 5.9 billion kronor and 6.5 billion kronor.

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But decliners included Volvo AB (VOLV-B.SK) as shares fell 3.4% even as the truck maker said truck orders jumped 22% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/volvo-profit-jumps-on-22-rise-in-truck-orders-2017-07-19) in the second quarter, and that it's seen continued recovery in its construction-equipment unit.

Assa Abloy AB (ASSA-B.SK) also lost ground, with shares of the lock maker dropping 5.5%. "Sales in China fell once again, and disappointingly they also continued to decrease in Brazil and in the Middle East," said Chief Executive Johan Molin in statement, adding that sales in North America are developing well. Second-quarter sales climbed 8%.

In other developments, Reckitt Benckiser (RB.LN) bulked up by 1.6% as the consumer products maker reached a deal to sell its food division for $4.2 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mccormick-to-pay-42b-for-reckitt-benckiser-unit-2017-07-19) to U.S. spice seller McCormick & Co. (MKC) . McCormick plans to integrate the RB Foods business -- which includes French's mustard and Frank's RedHot hot sauce -- into its commercial and industrial segments.

Dutch paint producer Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY) said its chief executive, Ton Büchner, has resigned for health reasons (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/akzo-nobel-ceo-buchner-resigns-for-health-reasons-2017-07-19). The unexpected move, however, shouldn't slow its plan to spin off its chemicals business. Shares finished 0.3% higher.

Euro: The euro fetched $1.1514, down from $1.1555 late Tuesday in New York. The euro on Tuesday leapt to a 14-month high above $1.15 as the dollar slid. On Thursday, the European Central Bank will release its latest policy decision.

ECB policy maker Francois Villeroy de Galhau on Wednesday said in France (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-policy-villeroy-idUSKBN1A40N7?il=0) that loose monetary policy is still needed for the eurozone economy although the central bank has helped push inflation toward its 2% target.

Indexes: The exporter-heavy DAX 30 index was 0.2% lower at 12,452.05. The index on Tuesday dropped 1.3%, hurt in part as the euro climbed.

France's CAC 40 index rose 0.8% to end at 5,216.07, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was 0.6% higher at 7,430.91.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 19, 2017 11:58 ET (15:58 GMT)