* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct
* Vodafone up 5.4 pct as it raises guidance
* Henkel boosted by strong results (Updates with closing prices)
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Europe’s benchmark index of top shares trimmed its gains on Tuesday, hurt by a fall in Italian stocks and a weak opening on Wall Street, but remained supported by strength in telecoms issues.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European shares closed up 0.3 percent at 1,358.78 points, after being up 0.5 percent earlier. U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on the day.
Italy’s FTSE MIB traded flat, with a 3.3 percent fall in UniCredit making it the top faller. It rapidly shed gains made after an expectation-beating report.
UniCredit’s revenues were hindered by weakness in the Italian economy, which took the shine off stronger than expected profits, traders said.
The FTSE Italia All-Share Banks Index is down over 12 percent since early October.
“There’s an underlying weakness in Italian banks, and the underperforming economy is keeping the sector under pressure,” Manoj Ladwa, head of trading at TJM Partners, said.
The sector received support from Monte Paschi, up 2 on bid speculation.
Also supporting the market was the STOXX Europe Telecommunications sector, up 2.2 percent, the top sectoral gainer.
It was boosted by Vodafone, which jumped 5.4 percent after nudging its forecasts for core earnings higher. It reported a sharp improvement in its main quarterly revenue measurement, helped by improved demand in its big European markets.
The rally in the stock lifted other telecoms, with Orange , KPN and Deutsche Telecom all 1.8-4.1 percent higher.
“The environment for telcos is a favourable one as improving technology supports revenues,” Zeg Choudhry, managing director at LONTRAD, said.
Shares in German consumer goods group Henkel rose 4.6 percent after it also posted better than expected quarterly earnings and raised its full-year forecast.
Outside the blue chips, Germany provided further earnings support after mid-cap construction group Hochtief, controlled by Spain’s ACS, rose 2.6 percent. It reported a 12 percent rise in underlying third-quarter net profit, beating market expectations.
However, in Ireland general insurer FBD Holdings Plc issued its second profit warning in six months, saying it could face a full-year loss. Its shares tumbled as much as 25 percent.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Tom Heneghan)