* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.3 pct
* Half way into earnings season, 65 pct of cos meet/beat forecasts
* Oil majors hurt as Brent crude falls towards $83/barrel
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Nov 4 (Reuters) - European stocks rose on Tuesday, trimming the previous session’s losses as better-than-expected earnings helped offset recent worries over the pace of economic growth in Europe.
Shares in German car parts and tyre maker Continental gained 1.5 percent after saying its profit margin could slightly beat targets this year as core European auto markets keep growing.
Banco Santander added 1.1 percent after the euro zone’s biggest bank posted a 32 percent rise in nine-month net profit, beating forecasts, as charges set aside against problematic debts fell from a year ago.
Securitas surged 5.7 percent after the Swedish security firm posted a bigger-than-expected rise in third-quarter core profit.
Bucking the trend, shares in Hugo Boss featured among the top losers, down 5.7 percent after the German fashion house cut its 2014 sales and profit outlook.
L‘Oreal also fell, by 1.9 percent after the world’s biggest cosmetics group reported the lowest sales growth since 2009 in the third quarter.
“Earnings have been better than expected overall, and this is offsetting the bad macro data seen in Europe lately,” said Alexandre Baradez, chief market analyst at IG France.
“The dollar is on the rise again, and investors are starting to price in the impact that the lower euro will have on exporters’ profits but also on the euro zone’s economic growth in the long term.”
The euro inched 0.3 percent higher to $1.2519 against the dollar on Tuesday, after hitting a two-year low of $1.2439 on Monday. The single currency has tumbled 11 percent against the greenback in the past six months, fuelling expectations of a long-awaited rebound in European profits.
Half way into Europe’s earnings season, 65 percent of companies managed to meet or beat profit forecasts, and 57 percent met or beat revenue forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.
In absolute terms, profits are up 12.2 percent, while revenues are down 0.7 percent, highlighting the fact that Europe’s earnings rebound has mostly been coming from cost-cutting and lower financing costs.
At 0911 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,345.42 points, after losing 0.9 percent on Monday following disappointing global economic data.
“Despite the recent gains on Wall Street and in Tokyo, there’s a lot of hesitation in European equity markets, given the sluggish macro data we’ve been getting here, including yesterday’s figures,” Saxo Bank trader Andrea Tueni said.
“Following the BoJ’s surprise (stimulus) last week, the market is waiting to see what the ECB will say on Thursday, and stocks could stay range-bound ahead of that.”
Shares in oil majors BP, Total and Royal Dutch Shell fell 1.3-1.6 percent, tracking a slide in crude prices, which fell below $84 a barrel after Saudi Arabia cut oil prices to the United States.
Brent futures have tumbled nearly 30 percent in the last few months.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
Editing by Susan Fenton