August 5, 2016 / 4:16 PM / 2 years ago

European shares lifted by solid earnings but RBS slumps

(ADVISORY - Follow European and UK stock markets in real time on the Reuters Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets) Adds details, updates prices)

* STOXX 600 ends up 1.1 pct but posts weekly loss

* Well-received updates lift LafargeHolcim, Hugo Boss

* RBS slumps in positive bank sector after losses widen

* Novo Nordisk drops after guidance cut

* STOXX 600 down 7 pct so far in 2016

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, Aug 5 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, helped by solid earnings from companies including cement making group LafargeHolcim, but Royal Bank of Scotland slumped after weak results.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended up 1.1 percent, extending gains after better-than-expected U.S. jobs data, although the index posted its first week of declines in four.

LafargeHolcim rose 5 percent after it reaffirmed its guidance and beat quarterly profit forecasts.

“LafargeHolcim results were, for once, a positive surprise, supported by the recent recovery in the important markets of India and Mexico as well as some European countries,” Baader Helvea analysts said.

Hugo Boss jumped 7.4 percent after the German fashion house beat forecasts for quarterly operating profit and new CEO Mark Langer said he would close about 20 more stores as a cost-cutting drive appears to be paying off.

Europe’s STOXX 600 bank sector index rose 2.2 percent, clawing back some ground following a slump at the start of the week after industry stress tests fuelled new concerns over banks’ capital levels when the industry is struggling to grow with ultra-low interest rates.

Mediobanca rose 8.8 percent after the Italian investment bank proposed a higher dividend and posted net profits that beat expectations.

However, Royal Bank of Scotland fell 7.2 percent as it reported widening first-half losses and scrapped plans to turn its Williams & Glyn unit into a standalone bank, as Britain faces a period of economic instability caused by its vote to leave the European Union.

“The outlook statement is notably cautious, reflecting increased uncertainty following the outcome of the EU referendum and lower for longer interest rate environment,” Shore Capital analyst Gary Greenwood said.

“Despite the stock trading at a significant discount to book value, it is hard for us to retain a positive stance,” he said, placing his buy recommendation under review.

Monte dei Paschi, which fared the worst in the stress tests, continued to face concerns over a rescue plan for the company. Its shares touched a record low and fell 1.6 percent.

Novo Nordisk also slumped 10 percent after the Danish drugmaker cut its forecast for full-year profit growth and warned of pressure on prices from tough competition in the United States next year.

The STOXX 600 index fell 0.2 percent over the course of the week and is down 7 percent so far in 2016. (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in London; Editing by Louise Ireland and Keith Weir)

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