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European shares end at record high on strong earnings

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·2-min read
German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
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By Anisha Sircar and Ambar Warrick

(Reuters) - European shares finished at a record high on Wednesday following a strong batch of quarterly earnings, while heavyweight mining stocks recovered from recent losses as commodity prices rose.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.4% to a record-high close of 481.22 points, with basic resources stocks leading gains. The sector added 0.9%, recovering from a near one-month low.

In earnings news, German software firm TeamViewer jumped 11.0% after it confirmed its preliminary third-quarter results and annual outlook.

Lufthansa jumped 7.0% after the airline posted a return to profit for the first time since the coronavirus crisis, boosted by the easing of travel restrictions.

Raiffeisen Bank International rose 10.9% after its quarterly net profit blew past estimates on strong revenues and lower provisions.

Still, anticipation of an announcement on stimulus tapering by the U.S. Federal Reserve kept most stock gains in check.

"Hopes of a reacceleration in growth, a pullback in real bond yields, and a supportive earnings season in Europe, which has come in above the historical average, are contributing to the renewed market rally," said Milla Savova, European equity strategist at Bank of America.

Savova, however, warned the recovery will prove short lived as major central banks consider scaling back on pandemic-era stimulus.

The STOXX 600 kicked off November with consecutive record highs as investors looked past concerns about rising inflation caused by supply-chain bottlenecks and labour shortages, with earnings season proving to be much stronger than expected.

Profits for Europe Inc are expected to jump 57.2% in the third quarter to 102.3 billion euros ($118.5 billion) from the same quarter last year, new Refinitiv IBES data showed, an improvement from last week's 52% growth forecast.

Oil stocks were major decliners on the STOXX 600, falling 3.0%, as crude prices fell after data pointed to a surge in U.S. inventories and pressure mounted on OPEC to increase supply. [O/R]

Gains in technology stocks powered France's CAC 40 index to a record high of 6,955.100 points.

Vestas, the world's largest maker of wind turbines, slumped 18.2% after posting a lower-than-expected third-quarter operating profit and trimming its full-year profit forecast.

BMW inched up 1.5% after the German automaker reported higher quarterly profit, but reiterated its warning on the global chip crunch.

French diagnostics specialist Biomerieux edged 0.1% higher after Bloomberg reported that it was exploring a potential merger with Germany's Qiagen.

(Reporting by Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Shinjini Ganguli, William Maclean)

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