29 de julio de 2015 / 16:33 / en 2 años

European stock markets advance on bumper earnings

* FTSEurofirst up 1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.6 pct

* Wolters Kluwer, Peugeot top gainers after results

* Italcementi jumps after bid from HeidelbergCement

* Schneider Electric, Saipem fall after cutting forecasts

* Fed to issue policy statement at 1800 GMT (Updates with closing prices)

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 closed up 1 percent, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.6 percent. Both are up roughly 14 percent so far in 2015.

Global stock markets have lost ground over the last month, amid worries about 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 49 percent while HeidelbergCement fell more than 6 percent.

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

Peugeot gained 6 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 ended the day flat after lowering full-year forecasts because of 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 3.4 percent after cutting its guidance. 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 met or beaten 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, because they boost returns on bonds and cash and can result in higher 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 larry King)

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