* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index steadies
* Credit Suisse gains after profits beat forecasts
* Earnings season gathers pace, outlook positive
By Liisa Tuhkanen and Atul Prakash
LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - European equities steadied on Thursday, as earnings upgrades lifted shares such as Credit Suisse while disappointing results hit others including Aberdeen Asset Management and SSE.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.05 percent at 1,585.59 points by 1028 GMT. The benchmark index had fallen 0.6 percent in the previous session, dragged lower by tech stocks after Apple Inc’s revenue forecast fell short of estimates.
Credit Suisse rose 6.7 percent, the top gainer in the FTSEurofirst 300 index and on track for its biggest one-day percentage gain since March. It had earlier posted better-than expected earnings and improvements to its capital cushion ahead of a strategy shake-up under its new chief executive.
“The Q2 results season is up and running and the early indications are positive,” said Robert Parkes, equity strategist at HSBC. “We believe there is plenty more to come and see the improving global business cycle taking over from currency as the key driver of earnings in 2016.”
Power and automation firm ABB rose 3 percent after its net profit beat analysts’ expectations, while Unilever added 2.3 percent after reporting better sales than forecast.
“Markets are in general regaining their composure,” Cholet Dupont portfolio manager Vincent Guenzi said.
“The earnings disappointments in the United States are being absorbed in Europe, largely down to the fact that valuations are not excessive. What we are still missing is evidence of forecast upgrades on the back of the earnings season -- it’s still a bit early for that.”
The STOXX Europe 600 index trades at 15.7 times its 12-month forward earnings, against 16.7 times for the U.S. S&P 500 index, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.
Aberdeen Asset Management was the biggest faller in the FTSEurofirst 300 index, with its share dropping 6.9 percent to their lowest in nearly 1-1/2-years.
The fund manager said on Thursday it saw net outflows of 9.9 billion pounds ($15.5 billion) during the quarter ended June 30 as institutional investors cut exposure to Asia and emerging markets equities.
SSE fell 4.8 percent after the British energy supplier predicted lower profits from its retail business this year, weeks after the competition watchdog found households had been overcharged some 1.2 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) a year.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Catherine Evans)