* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 percent
* Heineken, UCB, Volkswagen rally after results
* Swedish stocks outperform after cen bank boosts bond purchases
* Meggitt sinks after profit warning
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher in early deals on Wednesday, buoyed by a new batch of company earnings reports before a Federal Reserve policy decision later in the day.
Brewer Heineken rose 4.2 percent, the top FTSEurofirst 300 riser, after reporting strong sales in Europe and the Americas that came in above expectations.
Belgian pharmaceutical firm UCB rose 3.7 percent after its own well-received results.
Carmaker Volkswagen also rose 2.6 percent after announcing its first quarterly loss in at least 15 years, with traders expressing relief that the results were not worse after it was hit by an emissions test cheating scandal.
“Investors are glad this is out of the way, which is why shares turned higher. Volkswagen’s sales figures are holding up quite well, but we need to wait a couple of months to see the real fall-out,” Markus Huber, sales trader at Peregrine & Black, said.
With a quarter of STOXX Europe 600 companies having reported results, 59 percent have beaten or met expectations, Thomson Reuters Starmine data showed.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.6 percent at 1,477.87 points, having fallen by 1 percent in the previous session.
On the broader STOXX Europe 600, Saipem rose 11.5 percent after it announced a cash call, while Dialog bounced back from falls this week following disappointing results announced early on Monday, as Apple, which it provides chips for, beat expectations.
The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates unchanged after European markets close on Wednesday, and may struggle to convince skeptical investors it can tighten monetary policy before the end of the year in the face of U.S. and global economic headwinds.
Contributing to a picture of easy monetary policy, Sweden said it would expand its bond-buying programme, spurring outperformance in Swedish blue chips which rose 0.8 percent.
Hopes that the European Central Bank would expand its own asset purchases in December, combined with a rate cut in China, helped the FTSEurofirst 300 to 2 month highs at the end of last week.
Among fallers, Meggitt fell 23 percent after a profit warning, while British bank Lloyds dropped 4.6 percent after taking a further charge for mis-selling insurance and seeing profit miss expectations.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up