Strong results push European equities to 2-wk high

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 18:13 hrs

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - European equity markets rose to two-week highs on Wednesday, buoyed by a string of upbeat corporate earnings on both sides of the Atlantic, which helped push up investor risk appetite to its strongest in nearly four months.

The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed up 1.1 percent at 1,052.61 points, with investors cheering a forecast-beating profit and cheery outlook from the world's leading chip equipment maker ASML and a capital rise by bank Credit Suisse.

"Generally, it won't be a poor season in terms of earnings," said Benoit Peloille, equities strategist at Natixis, adding that his clients had turned more optimistic.

The implied volatility on the Euro STOXX 50, known as VSTOXX and seen as a crude gauge of investor risk aversion, fell to its lowest level since April.

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