April 25, 2017 / 7:46 AM / a year ago

European shares firm as earnings, M&A back in play

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - Deal-making and earnings underpinned European stock markets on Tuesday as focus shifted back to fundamentals and away from politics, for now.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent, on track for its fifth session of straight gains.

France’s CAC 40, which rallied more than 4 percent on Monday after centrist Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French presidential election, was flat.

Earnings were firmly in focus, with shares in AMS surging 16.3 percent to a record high after the chipmaker reported first quarter revenues above its own forecast and added that it may raise its mid-term revenue growth target.

Well-received earnings also boosted shares in auto stock Volvo, which rose 6 percent after beating first quarter forecasts.

M&A action also fueled shares, with luxury goods firm Christian Dior rocketing 12 percent to hit a fresh all-time high after a buyout deal.

LVMH and billionaire businessman Bernard Arnault announced a deal to simplify their relationship with Christian Dior by buying out its minority shareholders, aimed at boosting LVMH’s earnings.

LVMH’s shares hit a record level and traded 3.3 percent higher, while peer Hermes fell 4.3 percent.

Shares in Whitbread were the biggest fallers, down 6.6 percent after the Costa Coffee owner reported results and said that it expected consumer confidence to dip next year. (Reporting by Kit Rees, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)

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