Europe's bourses rally as profits impress

Positive corporate earnings drowned out most of the negatives on Wednesday, sending European markets higher for a second session this week.

Lufthansa delivered significantly better than expected profits in the third quarter and pleased the market with a pledge from Germany's flagship carrier to continue to cut costs in order to maintain profit margins.

The airline also said its booking outlook for the fourth quarter was uncertain, highlighting big uncertainties during the period.

Shares rallied 6.7 per cent to €11.72 in spite of the outlook, compared with a 0.6 per cent gain on the Xetra Dax, to 7,330.35.

The wider FTSE Eurofirst 300 rose 0.2 per cent to 1,104.97.

Fiat Industrial, the sister capital goods company to Fiat, reported a 91 per cent increase in trading profit to €575m in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, prompting it to change its revenues and earnings guidance for the full year.

The Italian truck and farm equipment maker, which was spun off from Fiat in 2011, said it had changed its trading profits target from a range of €1.9bn-€2bn to more than €2bn.

Shares rallied 3.5 per cent to €8.40, against a 1 per cent gain on the wider FTSE MIB index to 15,671.21.

Meanwhile, Metro was boosted by news that it was considering hiving off its international business at Real supermarkets into country-specific units in preparation for a possible sale.

Shares in one of Europe's largest retail groups jumped 3.6 per cent to €22.99.

Elsewhere, a profit warning from Fresenius Medical, the German healthcare group, drove investors out of the group.

The company cut its revenues and earnings estimates for this year and reported third-quarter net income of €270m against consensus estimates of €285m. Shares slumped 3.6 per cent to €54.67.

ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker by sales, swung into a loss in the third quarter, disappointing the market.

The group said it made a net loss of $709m in the third quarter compared with a net income of $659m over the same period last year. Revenues fell by 18.5 per cent to $19.7bn.

Its Amsterdam-listed shares fell 4.5 per cent to €11.66, against a 0.4 per cent rise on the AEX index to 333.72.