* STOXX 600 climbs 0.6 pct
* Tech stocks strong after Apple results relief
* Miners rise 2.1 pct on Chinese factory data
* Results drive Inmarsat, Lundin, GN Store higher (Updates prices, adds quotes, details)
By Helen Reid
LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) – European shares rose on Wednesday, boosted by some strong earnings updates and a rising tech sector after results from Apple exceeded weak expectations, while investors’ focus turned to euro zone GDP figures and the U.S. Fed meeting.
Shares in AMS, which provides the facial recognition technology used in Apple’s iPhones, jumped 8.1 percent after Apple surprised the market with solid iPhone X sales, confounding fears of a much weaker performance.
Apple shares were up 3.6 percent in pre-market trading by 0835 GMT.
Other chipmakers STMicroelectronics, Infineon , BE Semiconductor and ASML also gained 1.1 to 3.8 percent after the tech giant’s results helped sentiment on the sector.
Europe’s tech sector rose 1.1 percent to a six-week high.
It helped the pan-European STOXX 600 climb 0.6 percent, reaching its highest level since Feb 5 in early deals as investors awaited GDP data for the euro zone at 0900 GMT, and the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the day.
Mining stocks jumped 2.1 percent, providing the bedrock for Europe’s gains as copper prices recovered on strong China factory data.
Broadly strong earnings have been the main engine of the European index in recent weeks.
Thomson Reuters data showed that so far earnings growth for the euro zone MSCI EMU index was down 1.3 percent for the first quarter, while MSCI Europe companies have reported 0.5 percent earnings growth.
Earnings for the Europe-wide index have delivered a 1.2 percent surprise thus far, meaning results have outperformed analysts’ expectations. Deutsche Bank strategists said results beats were set to increase.
“The gross beat ratio, at 44 percent, is low, but our gross beats model – based on moves in the euro, commodities and global macro surprises – suggests that this is set to pick up during the remainder of the season,” wrote Deutsche Bank’s equity strategy team.
“Tech, consumer staples and energy have seen the strongest earnings per share (EPS) growth for the companies that have reported so far,” they added, saying financials and industrials have been the weakest.
On Wednesday British satellite firm Inmarsat led the pack, jumping 9.3 percent after reporting stronger first-quarter revenue.
Shares in Swedish oil firm Lundin Petroleum rose 5.1 percent after it became the latest European oil company to beat earnings expectations, helped by higher output.
Danish hearing aid company GN Store Nord gained 5.3 percent after announcing a 1 billion Danish krone share buyback and beating profit expectations.
Among results disappointments, Paddy Power Betfair was the worst-performing on the European index, down 6.3 percent after first-quarter earnings fell. The bookmaker also announced a 500 million pound share buyback programme.
British online grocer Ocado pared gains to trade up 1.3 percent, having earlier jumped 5.2 percent after it signed a partnership deal with Swedish grocer ICA to develop its online business. (Reporting by Helen Reid Editing by Keith Weir)
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