European stocks advance ahead of business data

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European stock markets rose on Thursday after a batch of better-than-expected quarterly earnings reports, even as investors prepared data to reflect a decline in business activity due to the Corona virus pandemic that has hit the global economy.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3 percent by 07:05 GMT, recovering for a second day in a row after a historic collapse in oil prices led to selling at the beginning of the week.

Credit Suisse Group opened the first-quarter profit season for major European lenders with a 75 percent jump in profit, but warned that the pandemic could affect performance in the rest of the coming quarters. Its shares rose 2.5 percent.

SKF, the world’s largest manufacturer of Rolman Bly, jumped 7.5 percent to top the index after recording better-than-expected operating profit in the first quarter.

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