(Reuters) – European shares edged higher on Wednesday, as semiconductor firm ASML’s upbeat results lifted the technology sector and bolstered hopes for a strong earnings season, though gains were capped by lingering fears about surging inflation and interest rates.
ASML Holding (NASDAQ:) NV rose 5.5% after the chip equipment maker reported better-than-expected third-quarter sales and profit and said it does not expect a large impact from U.S. sanctions on China.
Shares of other chip stocks, including ASM International (OTC:), BE Semiconductor and Aixtron, rose between 0.7% and 6%, boosting the technology sector.
The region-wide index inched up 0.1%, extending gains for a fifth day, boosted by solid earnings reports from U.S. companies and the scrapping of UK’s economic programme that had slammed bond markets.
Among other single stocks, Handelsbanken rose 5.1% after the Swedish bank reported record operating earnings, helped by a jump in interest income.
Nestle raised its full-year sales outlook, but the company’s CEO raised concerns about the “challenging economic environment” affecting consumers’ purchasing power. Shares of the world’s largest packaged food company were down 0.3%.
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