European shares advance, Vodafone and Thales lead
* FTSEurofirst 300 index up 0.2 pct
* Abengoa renews slump after volatile Thursday
* Aggreko, SES issue profit warnings
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - European shares advanced on Friday, with well-received earnings updates from companies such as telecom major Vodafone and defence group Thales supporting the market.
Shares in Vodafone rose 4.2 percent, adding the most points to an advance on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index , after results that showed improvements across major markets in Germany and Britain.
France's Thales surged more than 9 percent, hitting an all-time high. Its first-half operating profit rose by a larger-than-expected 18 percent to 473 million euros ($519 million), buoyed in part by a tighter grip on costs in its defence and security business.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.2 percent at 1,581.14 points at 1153 GMT after hitting a one-week low earlier in the session. The market recovered after weak private sector growth data sent bond yields lower and kept the pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to stimulate the euro zone economy.
"Historically the ECB has said it would do whatever it takes to save the euro, it has launched quantitative easing to support the euro zone and investors have faith that they will continue to be supportive if there are signs of weakness," said Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG. Continuación...