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PARIS: European shares notched its biggest one-day gain since a week ago on Friday, driven by gains in the technology sector, while banks dropped to over a week’s low, weighed down by Societe Generale following a dismal forecast.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4%, boosted by a 1.6% gain in the technology sector following an upbeat quarterly sales forecast from U.S-based Apple.

However, the top index was set for a weekly decline, as investors navigated the earnings season in full drive and the European Central Bank’s policy outlook beyond June.

Offsetting the optimism, the banking sector dropped 0.8%, as Societe Generale reversed early gains and slid 5.2% to the bottom of France’s CAC 40 index after the lender said annual net interest income from its French retail business would be at the lower end of guidance.

On the other hand, Credit Agricole SA climbed 1% after a forecast-beating 55% jump in first-quarter net profit.

“There is always a trade-off between net interest margins and the quality of the loan book and both multipliers have been heavily impacted by the state of the local economies in which they operate,” said Richard Flax, chief investment officer at Moneyfarm.

“The euro zone has not been particularly strong and only some banks have been able to (maintain) that profitability.”

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk dropped 2.5% and weighed on the top index, after rival Amgen said it was encouraged by interim trial data on its experimental obesity drug.

Elsewhere, European Central Bank policymaker Yannis Stournaras indicated three rate cuts this year as stronger-than-expected economic growth supports inflation, while chief economist Philip Lane noted the central bank should accumulate data before each cut.

Investors will also keep a tab on Fitch’s credit rating review on Italy and Moody’s credit rating review on Europe’s stability mechanism.

In a lukewarm reception to Spain’s largest initial public offering in almost a decade, Puig’s shares hovered just above their issue price following the beauty group’s market debut.

Among others, Henkel jumped 7.2% and was the biggest boost to the DAX after the consumer goods company slightly raised its 2024 guidance, while Aurubis slumped 11% to the bottom of the STOXX after UBS downgraded the largest European refined copper producer to “sell” from “buy”.

German truck maker Daimler Truck dropped 3.8% after warning of rising headwinds in the European market, casting a shadow over its first-quarter profit beat.

Of the STOXX 600 companies to have reported earnings to date, 58.8% have exceeded estimates, compared with a long-term average of 54% as per LSEG data released on Tuesday.

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