UPDATE 1-European shares near two-year high; Credit Suisse leads bank gains

Thursday, November 2 2017

UPDATE 1-European shares near two-year high; Credit Suisse leads bank gains UPDATE 1-European shares near two-year high; Credit Suisse leads bank gains Source : 15:39 hrs
* STOXX 600 steadies near two-year highs
* Credit Suisse, Danske Bank gain after results
* Trading muted as investors await BoE decision (Updates prices, adds detail, quotes)
By Helen Reid and Sujata Rao
LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Forecast-beating results from lenders Credit Suisse, ING and Danske Bank buoyed Europe's bank shares on Thursday, helping the overall equity index to hold just off two-year highs.
Trading was muted before the Bank of England's 1200 GMT policy meeting, which is expected to raise interest rates for the first time since 2007. Markets have factored in a rate rise, but investors in UK markets want to see what the bank might signal about future policy.
The pan-European STOXX 600 seesawed just off the two-year highs hit on Wednesday. British, German and French stocks were also flat or weaker .
Bank shares were the day's bright spot, with the STOXX 600 bank index up half a percent after three days in the red and adding the most points to the overall benchmark.
The gains soothed some of the worries stoked earlier in the week by Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas, which saw shares slump after disappointing results.
Shares in heavyweight Swiss bank Credit Suisse rose 3.8 percent after it reported stronger-than-expected revenues.
"These results confirm the turnaround story of CS," analysts at KBW brokerage said, pointing to the bank's market-share gains in key areas and progress in restructuring.
Denmark's Danske Bank also rose, by 3.4 percent, after reporting net income above estimates and an increase in its capital ratio.
Dutch bank ING Groep posted better-than-expected earnings as well. But its shares traded flat after initially climbing towards nine-year highs.
Nearly half of European companies having reported for the third quarter, with industrial, financial and tech sectors the best performers, according to Thomson Reuters data. Sixty-six percent of companies in the MSCI Europe have beat or met earnings expectations.
A strong non-bank performer was oil services firm Tenaris , which rose 7.5 percent after results, helping Italy's benchmark gain 0.4 percent, outperforming peers.
German luxury clothing brand Hugo Boss shares jumped 6.4 percent after it reported accelerating sales growth for the quarter.
"This confirms the initial success of the company's brand turnaround ... which we would expect to accelerate further as the Spring/Summer 2018 collection comes to stores early next year," Berenberg analysts told clients.
Top of the day's losers was gambling technology company Playtech, shares in which plummeted 21 percent after warning on profit because of a slowdown in parts of Asia and problems with a bingo contract .
Miner Randgold Resources tumbled 5 percent after reporting a 41 percent fall in third-quarter profits. It was set for its worst day in 10 months.
(Reporting by Helen Reid and Sujata Rao,; editing by Sujata Rao, Larry King) SEARCH