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European shares bounce after Brexit bruising, Vivendi shines

LONDON (Reuters) – European shares staged a modest recovery on Friday as investors licked their wounds after a tumultuous week while strong results from Vivendi boosted the media sector.

The pan-European stocks index lost steam only an hour into trading, though, as UK media reports suggested that lawmakers are likely to trigger a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May.

The index was on course for a weekly loss as Brexit chaos, Italy’s budget showdown with the European Commission and anxious oil markets sapped risk appetite.

The STOXX 600 opened 0.7 percent up but that slipped to 0.4 percent by 0950. Germany’s DAX .GDAXI rose by 0.6 percent.

Britain’s FTSE 100 .FTSE and FTSE 250 .FTMC recovered slightly, up 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent respectively after Thursday’s sharp sell-off in domestic stocks on ministerial resignations.

French media company Vivendi’s (VIV.PA) quarterly results helped to lift the media sector .SXMP by 1.5 percent.

Vivendi shares topped the CAC 40, climbing 5.9 percent after the company posted stronger than expected third-quarter sales, helped by growth in music streaming at its Universal Music Group (UMG). It also said it was lining up banks for a possible sale of part of the UMG division.

Deutsche Bank analysts said the fourth-quarter slate for Universal looks “strong” with releases announced for multiple platinum sellers and ongoing Drake and Eminem sales.

“With solid steps toward a stake sale in 2019, this is a timely reminder that valuations of over 20 billion euros for UMG are not hype,” they wrote in a note to clients.

Bollore (BOLL.PA), which is also owned by French media tycoon Vincent Bolloré, gained 3.7 percent.

The technology sector .SX8P lagged the market after worse than expected results from U.S. chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA.O), the latest in a string of negative news for tech components producers.

German semiconductor maker Siltronic (WAFGn.DE) slid 3 percent, among the biggest STOXX fallers.

Dutch lender ABN AMRO (ABNd.AS) also fell 2.7 percent after its results.

ABB (ABBN.S) shares were up 2.5 percent after sources said the Swiss industrials group is in talks with three Asian suitors for the sale of its Power Grids business.

Swiss chocolate producer Barry Callebaut (BARN.S), meanwhile, dropped 3.7 percent after members of the majority stakeholder Jacobs family sold 150,000 shares, amounting to 2.7 percent of the company.

Swedish electrical components company Nibe (NIBEb.ST) jumped 6.7 percent, the top STOXX gainer, after its results.

Outside large-cap stocks, Danish industrial component maker NKT (NKT.CO) plunged 19.2 percent after it cut its full-year earnings outlook and CEO Michael Hedegaard left the company.

Shares in the maker of the “Angry Birds” mobile game, Rovio Entertainment (ROVIO.HE), jumped 10.2 percent after third-quarter results.

Fewer companies than usual have beaten expectations in Europe’s third-quarter results season, with companies facing difficulties converting sales into profits as costs climbed.

IBES Refinitiv data showed analysts expect third-quarter earnings to grow 15.8 percent year on year, in euro terms and 2019 European earnings to edge higher than the United States.

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