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Telenor, Weir Group and miners lead European shares to 3-week high

Telenor, Weir Group and miners lead European shares to 3-week high
From Reuters - July 17, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares nudged higher on Monday, though trading was characterized by thin volumes as a busy few weeks of earnings reports from top regional and U.S. firms gets underway.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 percent to touch a three-week high, while the blue chips struggled and turned negative to trade 0.2 percent lower.

Last week, European indices enjoyed their strongest week in more than two months as investors quickly bought the dip spurred by central banks turning slightly hawkish.

Second-quarter results season kicked off in the U.S. last Friday with numbers from Citigroup and JPMorgan.

Analysts are expecting earnings to grow 9 percent year-on-year for European firms, compared with 8 percent for the U.S., according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

British engineer Weir Group was the biggest STOXX riser, surging nearly 10 percent after increasing its forecasts for its oil and gas units, thanks to strong North American drilling activity.

"The extent of the Oil & Gas upgrades are significant, obviously, and shows how volatile this end market can be. This time, it's going in the group's favor, and they are very much benefiting from it," analysts at Jefferies said in a note.

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