* STOXX 600 up 0.2 pct
* FTSE 100 gives up ytd gains
* Banks snap six-day losing streak
* Burberry falls after results
* Edenred a top gainer on higher revenue growth
(Adds quote and detail, updates prices at close)
By Helen Reid and Kit Rees
LONDON, April 19 European shares recovered on
Wednesday from their biggest one-day loss in five months, as a
rebound in banking stocks and some positive first-quarter
results outweighed weakness in oil and gas stocks.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.2 percent at
its close, after hitting a three-week low on Tuesday.
Britain's FTSE extended the previous session's
losses, dropping 0.1 percent and giving up its year-to-date
gains as sterling strength weighed on its constituents, most of
which are major exporters after UK Prime Minister Theresa May
called for a snap general election.
"While the headline level of the FTSE 100 Index often falls
when sterling strengthens, it is important to look at the
performance of the index’s underlying constituent companies;
those with domestic earnings and foreign costs have generally
benefited materially," Edward Park, investment committee
director at Brooks Macdonald asset management, said.
Banking stocks snapped a six-day losing streak -
their longest run of daily losses for 11 months - to rise 1.8
percent, making them the top sectoral gainers.
Banco Popular and UniCredit were among
top gainers, adding 5.5 percent and 6.1 percent respectively.
Sentiment was helped by Jefferies initiating coverage on
Dutch bank ING Group with a "buy", saying ING shares
had 18.7 percent upside potential. ING rose 3.8 percent.
Basic resources also bounced back, gaining 0.8
percent, while oil and gas stocks fell 0.7 percent as crude
prices dipped on bloated U.S. supplies.
Earnings, which began in earnest for European companies,
Meal voucher group Edenred was a top gainer, up 5
percent after it posted higher first-quarter revenue growth and
maintained its targets, boosted by growth in Latin
"Overall, we are encouraged by the strong start to the year
and believe it means full year forecasts are well underpinned,"
Barclays analysts said.
British luxury group Burberry was among the biggest
European losers, down around 8 percent after it reported a
slowdown in its fourth-quarter comparable sales growth rate,
saying tough conditions in the U.S. outweighed an "exceptional"
performance in its home market.
German retailer Zalando fell 4.8 percent after it
said it was happy with its first-quarter despite margin pressure
due to post-Christmas sales discounting.
French media group Vivendi was the top CAC-40
faller, down 1.1 percent after Italy's watchdog ordered the firm
to cut its stake in Telecom Italia or Mediaset
The Italian broadcaster reversed losses to end 1.6 percent
higher, while Telecom Italia also ended up 1.4 percent.
"Vivendi is very unlikely to sell down its 23.9 percent TI
stake, in our view," Jefferies analysts said.
Shares in British engineering group Cobham fell 8.7
percent after 683 million new shares were added to trading in
its rights issue, raising 512.4 million pounds.
(Editing by Louise Ireland and Pritha Sarkar)