(Reuters) – European stocks edged back towards record-highs on Thursday after a slew of upbeat earnings reports and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s pledge to stick to loose monetary policy.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4% by 0713 GMT, trading just about 3 points below its record peak.
Consumer goods giant Unilever rose 3.2% as a pick up in home cooking and a strong economic recovery in China drove better-than-expected quarterly sales. The company also announced a share buyback programme up to 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion).
Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia surged 13.7% as growth in sales of network and 5G equipment boosted its quarterly earnings.
Among oil majors, UK’s Royal Dutch Shell gained 1.6% after it raised its dividend by 4% following a strong quarter, while France’s Total was up 1.4% after it reported first-quarter earnings close to pre-pandemic levels.
French planemaker Airbus added 3.0% after it posted higher quarterly core earnings.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)