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European Shares Broadly Higher On Earnings Cheer

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European stocks were broadly higher on Thursday, with a slew of upbeat earnings reports and dovish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve boosting sentiment.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was up 0.4 percent at 441.48, while France's CAC 40 index gained half a percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 0.6 percent.

The German DAX was down 0.3 percent after data showed German unemployment rose unexpectedly in April amid extended restrictions on shopping, travel and social life to contain a third wave of COVID-19 infections.

Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia soared as much as 13.5 percent after reporting forecast-beating profit and revenue.

Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics gained nearly 2 percent as it reported higher net profit and revenue for the first quarter.

Swiss chemicals company Clariant lost about 3 percent after saying it expects to achieve moderate local currency sales growth in continuing operations in FY21.

Unilever shares jumped more than 3 percent in London. The consumer goods giant announced a share buyback program after posting better-than-expected quarterly sales.

Royal Dutch Shell added 1.5 percent. The Anglo-Dutch company raised its dividend after profit rose more than expected in the first quarter.

Standard Chartered surged 5.4 percent after its first-quarter pre-tax profit beat consensus estimate.

Weir Group added 1.5 percent. The engineering company expects to deliver growth in full year constant currency profits in line with current market expectations.

Telecommunications company BT Group rallied 2.4 percent after saying it is in early talks with a number of select strategic partners, to explore ways to generate investment, strengthen sports business.

Total SE shares rose 1.2 percent after the French petroleum refining company posted first-quarter earnings close to pre-pandemic levels.

Planemaker Airbus surged 2.7 percent after it posted higher first-quarter core earnings.

Capgemini advanced 1.8 percent after the consulting and technology group returned to organic growth in the first quarter of the year.

Automakers Daimler, Volkswagen and Renault gave up 2-3 percent after U.S. carmaker Ford slashed its full-year forecast, citing a global semiconductor shortage.

German airline Lufthansa tumbled 2.4 percent after booking a narrower net loss.

Chemicals giant BASF shed 1.5 percent despite lifting its full-year profit outlook.

In economic releases, Germany's unemployment rose unexpectedly in April, data released by the Federal Labor Agency showed.

The number of people out of work increased by 9,000 in April, in contrast to the expected fall of 10,000 and March's decrease of 6,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.0 percent in April, in line with expectations.

The euro zone economic sentiment indicator rose strongly by 9.4 to 110.3 in April, beating expectations for a score of 103.0.

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