Profit beats help European shares hit new 5-yr high

Last Updated: Tue, May 14, 2013 15:40 hrs

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - European shares stretched to a new five-year closing high on Tuesday, helped by a batch of estimate-beating corporate results and renewed signs of appetite for stocks from cash-rich investors.

Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, German mail company Deutsche Post and French industrial conglomerate EADS were among top gainers after reporting better-than expected-profits, overshadowing some cautious operational numbers.

"The ability of the corporates to still beat expectations on earnings shows that there is resilience and cost control and is a reason for the momentum," said Lorne Baring, managing director at B Capital, who has long positions on German, French and U.S. stocks.

"Of course that (momentum) is backed by the non-stop quantitative easing from central banks."

His views were mirrored by influential U.S. investor David Alan Tepper, who said in a CNBC interview on Tuesday that he is still bullish on stocks in light of continued monetary stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Tepper's comments, along with data forecasting an acceleration in U.S. chain stores sales in May, lifted European stocks in late trade, helping the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index end 0.4 percent higher at 1,235.49 points at the provisional close.

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