LONDON, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Gains by cyclical sectors helped push European stocks higher on Thursday, while heavy losses from Dixons Carphone after a profit warning dominated early trading.
The pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.3 percent, in line with euro zone stocks and blue-chips.
Dixons Carphone shares plummeted up to 29 percent after the mobile phone retailer downgraded expectations for full-year profit, reflecting tougher conditions in the mobile market as customers hold on to handsets for longer.
Dixons Carphone was the worst-performing among European retail stocks so far this year, even before today’s decline wiped a third off its market value.
Results this quarter have seen investors punish companies that missed earnings expectations particularly harshly, analysts said.
Cementing index gains, the world’s third-biggest materials supplier, CRH, jumped 4.3 percent after selling its U.S. distribution business to Beacon Roofing Supply.
Sunrise Communications also gained 4.3 percent after its second-quarter net income more than doubled and Berenberg raised the stock to a “buy”.
And British sub-prime lender Provident Financial recovered slightly from its sharp falls earlier in the week, up 2.7 percent.
Simcorp dropped 13 percent, making it one of the worst-performing European stocks, after its second-quarter results missed expectations.
The earnings season in Europe was drawing to a close, with almost nine of 10 MSCI Europe companies having reported.
So far, 55 percent of results have beat forecasts and 39 percent have missed. By comparison, more than two-thirds of companies reporting in the United States topped expectations.
Reporting by Helen Reid