A raft of forecast-beating corporate results kept European equities afloat on Thursday, shrugging off declines in Asia on the back of mixed regional data.
There was also more reason for optimism on Greece, where Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras contained a rebellion in his left-wing Syriza party to win parliamentary approval for reforms required to start talks on a financial rescue deal.
Peripheral bond yields fell and the German bund held steady, while the euro rose to hit $1.10 for the first time in more than a week. The dollar against a basket of six major currencies .DXY fell 0.6 percent.
Top euro-zone equities .STOXX50E were up 0.3 percent, slightly outperforming the broader pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index. The MSCI All-Country World index .MIWD00000PUS also rose.
The mood in Europe contrasted with a mixed session in Asia, where South Korea’s economy recorded its weakest expansion in six years in the second quarter, and overnight declines on Wall Street.
“Markets are in general regaining their composure,” said Vincent Guenzi, a Paris-based portfolio manager at Cholet Dupont.
“The earnings disappointments in the U.S. are being absorbed in Europe, largely down to the fact that valuations are not excessive…A debt bailout of Greece is also slowly getting underway.
“What we are still missing is evidence of forecast upgrades on the back of the earnings season – it’s still a bit early for that.”
Emerging markets had a rougher time, with currencies extending falls against the dollar. The Korean won hit new 3-year lows after its weak economic reading, while the Indonesian rupiah and the Thai baht touched new 17-year and six-year lows respectively IDR= THB=.
Commodities markets were steady, with U.S. oil CLc1 up 20 cents to $49.39 per barrel and Brent crude LCOc1 up 2 cents to $56.15. Rising U.S. stockpiles and a strong dollar have been a drag on oil prices.
In metals, gold edged up from a five-year low, though bearish investors were still hovering. London copper prices meanwhile rose as short-sellers rushed to cover their positions in a volatile session after a bearish call from Goldman Sachs had sent the metal to its lowest in a fortnight.