European shares hit 4-mth high on earnings beats

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 18:15 hrs

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - European shares soared to a four-month high on Thursday as another string of estimate-beating corporate results surprised investors who had braced for a weak show.

Handset maker Nokia, short interest in which had reached record level ahead of results, surged 12 percent to top the European leaderboard after reporting a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.

French industrial connglomerate Alstom, Biotech company Actelion, home appliances maker Electrolux and AkzoNobel all reported strong results.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed up 1 percent at 1,063.73 points.

"It looks like it has been a decent start but overall I suspect the season will be a miss (due to) the deterioration in the macroeconomic environment over the past two or three months," Daniel McCormack, a strategist with Macquarie, said.

"The rally we've had since June 4 has been driven by defensives and I think that reflects lack of conviction on the part of investors."

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