29 de julio de 2015 / 10:19 / en 2 años

European stock markets advance, Italcementi surges

* FTSEurofirst up 0.5 pct, Euro STOXX up 0.4 pct

* Italcementi jumps after bid from HeidelbergCement

* Peugeot rises after solid results

* Schneider Electric and Saipem fall after cutting forecasts

* Fed to issue policy statement at 1800 GMT

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday, lifted by strong corporate results and bid activity including HeidelbergCement’s move to take control of Italcementi.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.5 percent, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.4 percent. Both are up roughly 13 percent so far in 2015.

Global stock markets have lost ground over the last month, due to concerns over China’s economy and Greece’s debt crisis, but a stabilisation of the volatile stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen on Wednesday propped up Asian shares.

In Europe, Italcementi surged 50 percent while HeidelbergCement fell more than 5 percent.

Elsewhere, British property company Quintain Estates rose more than 20 percent after a bid from private equity firm Lone Star.

Peugeot gained 5.5 percent after it reported positive first-half net income for the first time in four years.

Oil major Total also rose after reporting higher-than-expected second quarter profits.

However, Schneider Electric fell 1 percent after lowering full-year forecasts due to persistent weakness in China.

“The results from European companies have been reasonably reassuring so far, although China is impacting a few of them,” Mirabaud Securities’ senior equity sales trader John Plassard said.

Among other standouts, Italian oil group Saipem retreated 6.4 percent after cutting its guidance, and that weighed on the Milan stock market which fell 0.3 percent.

According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, 53 percent of companies on the pan-European STOXX 600 index have beaten or met market expectations with their results so far this quarter.

Investors were by and large expected to trade cautiously before a policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve later in the day.

The U.S. central bank is expected to point to a growing economy and stronger job market as it sets the stage for a possible interest rate hike in September.

Higher interest rates can often hit stock markets, as they boost returns on bonds and cash, and can result in bigger debt costs for listed companies.

But some traders said the outlook for European shares was good. Even if rates go up in the United States, they are expected to stay at record lows in Europe, while the European Central Bank is boosting liquidity to stimulate economic growth in the region.

Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Louise Ireland)

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