By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) — European equities advanced Tuesday, logging a second consecutive session of gains, as investors assessed a fresh round of corporate financial results.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -1.97% rose 1.2% to 338.12, paced by gains in the oil sector as BG Group PLC shares bulked up 3% and BP PLC /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP -2.44% bounced higher by 2.9% after the company raised its dividend to 9.75 cents a share from 9 cents a share last year.
A 2.9% increase in Deutsche Bank AG /zigman2/quotes/205584254/delayed DE:DBK -1.60% shares also helped lift the Stoxx 600, rising after the banking firm’s first-quarter profit came in above analyst expectations. The move also supported a 1.5% climb in Germany’s DAX index /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -1.82% to 9,584.12.
The lead advancer on the German stock gauge was Infineon Technologjes AG /zigman2/quotes/204995926/delayed DE:IFX +0.05% , closing up 4.6% following the chipmaker’s better-than-expected second-quarter results.
Infineon also forecast revenue growth and margin “to be at least at the upper end” of previously set projections.
Key Russian stock indexes also settled higher, brushing past sanctions imposed on 15 more Russian and pro-Russian Ukrainian figures by the European Union in response to escalating tensions between Moscow and Kiev. The EU’s list was released Tuesday. The blue-chip Micex index rose 0.4%, and the RTS index /zigman2/quotes/210597950/delayed RU:RTS -1.16% gained 1.2%.
On Monday, the U.S. announced sanctions on seven Russian government leaders and 17 companies linked to the “inner circle” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Kerry: U.S. 'inches away' from broader sanctions
John Kerry says the U.S. is "inches away" from imposing broader sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine, the FBI is forming a "financial SWAT team" to track money stolen by deposed dictators, and why the markets are bracing for El Niño. Photo: Getty.
The impact of the sanctions is “blunted” as they “target the Russian elite, rather than the economy as a whole, suggesting that the U.S. wants to limit the impact on U.S. and European businesses,” said Marshall Gittler, head of global FX strategy at IronFX Global Ltd. in a note early Tuesday. “Thus the markets – and President Putin too, one assumes -- see the lack of conviction behind the effort and the desire on the part of the West to minimize their own sacrifice on behalf of Ukraine.”
Increased tensions between Moscow and Kiev could weaken economic prospects for Europe’s largest economy, a GfK German consumer-confidence survey showed, though confidence in the economy remains high.
Gainers in European markets also included Nokia Oyj , pushing up 2.9% as the mobile company said it will distribute more than 3 billion euros ($4.19 billion) to investors, using a significant chunk of cash from the recent sale of its handset business to Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT -0.38% Also, Nokia’s first-quarter loss narrowed from the year-ago period.
On the downside, stock in ABB Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201477239/delayed CH:ABBN -1.28% slumped 7% after first-quarter earnings and revenue at the power-and-technology company fell short of projections by analysts.
In London, government-services provider Serco Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/202143031/delayed UK:SRP -1.06% warned of a possible downward revision to its expectations, triggering a 15% slide in shares.
Also in the U.K., the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -2.47% rose 1% to 6,769.91. Data released Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics showed the U.K.’s gross domestic product grew by 0.8% in the first quarter, coming in shy of estimates from analysts and the Bank of England.
In France, CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -1.86% reversed earlier losses to finish up 0.8% at 4,497.68.