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Buoyant media sector supports European shares

Reuters  |  MILAN 

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN (Reuters) - A following a new bid for British pay-TV firm drove European shares higher on Thursday, helping them to stabilise after heavy losses in the previous session when fears of an escalating trade war hit markets.

The region's rose 1 percent, with up 2.2 percent after U.S.-based submitted a $34 billion bid for the group a few hours after Rupert Murdoch's raised its offer.

traded above Comcast's recommended offer price of 14.75 pounds as investors bet Fox would make another higher bid.

"Fox has spent 18 months going through the UK regulatory process to acquire Sky and we don't believe 1400p is likely to be its final offer," analysts led by said in a note.

They lifted their price target on the stock to 16 pounds.

Europe's has outperformed the market this month, underpinned by the bidding war for Sky but also helped by expectations of a lift to from soccer matches for broadcasters such as France's and Britain's

however fell 1.1 percent on Thursday after England was defeated in the semi-final by Croatia, which will face in the final.

said boost for was already priced in and it downgraded the stock to neutral, while lifting its rating on to buy, which helped send the stock up 3.7 percent.

The pan-European index was up 0.3 percent by 0903 GMT. Losses among and financials curbed gains in the and consumer sectors, which have recently been favoured for their defensive qualities in the face of worries that a trade war could hurt global growth.

Elsewhere earnings updates drove share price moves.

rallied 8.9 percent after the German raised the lower end of its revenue growth guidance and unveiled a 350 million euro acquisition to expand in the field of devices.

Norwegian dropped 3.9 percent after its second quarter earnings fell short of expectations.

Overall investors are expecting a solid earnings season in According to the IBES data, second-quarter earnings for the companies on the euro zone's index are expected to grow 8.1 percent.

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; editing by David Stamp)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 16:06 IST