* FTSEurofirst 300 0.6 pct, France’s CAC up 1 pct
* Alcatel Lucent and Renault lead gains after updates
* Germany’s VW, Bayer also boosted by results but Linde plunges
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - French stocks Alcatel Lucent and Renault led a rise in European shares on Thursday after posting upbeat corporate updates.
Auto-maker Renault upgraded its European auto market growth forecast and telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent improved its gross profit margin in the latest quarter.
Their shares were up 5 percent and 11 percent, respectively, by 0836 GMT, with France’s benchmark CAC 40 index up 1 percent.
Despite a rebound in the past two weeks, the CAC is still down nearly 10 percent from a six-year peak hit in June, hit by weak growth in the euro zone’s second largest economy.
“You hear so many bad things about France but I think that’s in the price by now”, Markus Huber, a senior trader at Peregrine and Black said.
“This is why as soon as you get a (French) company reporting better or even in-line results people jump on it.”
The broader pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.6 percent to 1,326.56 points, shrugging off a downbeat overnight market sentiment caused by a more hawkish message than many had expected from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Asian stocks were mostly lower after the Fed ended its massive quantitative easing programme, as expected, but laced its economic assessment with a tinge of hawkishness.
Also supporting the FTSEurofirst were strong results from German heavyweights Bayer and Volkswagen.
Europe’s largest automotive group Volkswagen posted higher-than-expected operating profit in the third quarter, boosted by European and Chinese buyers of its luxury Audi and Porsche models, sending its shares up 3.6 percent.
Germany’s largest drugmaker Bayer rose 3 percent after it said third-quarter underlying core earnings advanced by 1.4 percent, slightly surpassing expectations, on strong sales at its pesticides unit.
On the downside, Linde fell 5.7 percent after the German industrial gases maker cut its 2014 earnings prediction after taking an impairment loss of 229 million euros ($288.33 million) in the third quarter.
With results out from just over a third of companies in the STOXX Europe 600 index due to report, the earnings season has been generally positive.
Around 67 percent of companies that have reported through Oct. 29 have met or beaten expectations, above the index’s long term average, StarMine data showed.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Toby Chopra)