Vodafone, the world's second-largest mobile operator, has almost doubled its forecast for full-year earnings growth to around 10 percent after reporting a strong first half. As Silvia Antonioli reports, it was a good day for other European telecoms too and they helped support European stocks.
Vodafone is ringing up profits. The world's second largest mobile operator beat forecasts with strong first half growth-- mostly thanks to demand for data and broadband in Europe. On top of that, it almost doubled its annual growth forecast to an impressive 10 percent. Investors welcomed that call and pushed the stock up to the top of FTSE 100. Other telco and tech firms also pleased the market with strong results. Among them Software maker Simcorp, chipmaker Infineon and German telco Drillisch. Yet this wasn't enough to push European stocks to new highs: as we near the end of earnings season, markets are hovering around a 7-week-low. (SOUNDBITE) (English): JANE FOLEY, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, SAYING: "Partly because we have seen a whole series of record highs. Perhaps the market is already quite long but we've got to put this against the backdrop that we have in the globe and first of all we have the uncertainty about tax reform but also there are lots of uncertainties about China." Goldman Sachs says this quarter stocks have had more violent reactions than usual to results, with earnings-day price moves more than 3-point-5 times the average daily move. But that was mostly on the upside. with 62 percent of the European blue-chips meeting or beating earnings estimates.