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European Stocks Mainly Positive Despite BP, Deutsche Bank Worries

LONDON (The Deal) -- European stocks were mainly in positive territory Tuesday as strong corporate news offset concerns about imminent U.S. and EU sanctions against key sectors of Russia's economy and ahead of a two-day Fed meeting starting today.

In London the FTSE 100 was up 0.24% at 6,804.26, while in Frankfurt the DAX added 0.02% to 9,599.64. In France the CAC 40 rose 0.9% to 4,383.74.

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U.K. clothing retailer Next (NXGPY) rose 2.61% to 6,690 pence in London after reporting a better-than-expected 10.7% rise in first-half Next brand sales, of which 2.4% came from the opening of profitable new stores. The company also raised its full-year sales and profit guidance. The company now forecasting 7% to 10% sales growth for the year, up from the 5.5% to 9.5% range it gave in April.

In Madrid, Ferrovial (FRRVY) gained 1.81% to 16.035 euros, a day after the Spanish construction company and 20% owner of London's Heathrow Airport posted a better-than-expected first-half net profit of 168.4 million euros, 41% below the previous year. EBTIDA rose 16% at Heathrow in the first half.

In London, BP (BP) was down 0.74% as concerns about Russia offset a better-than-expected second-quarter profit of $3.6 billion. The company also announced a dividend of 9.75 cents per ordinary share, in line with expectations.

As a 20% stakeholder in Russia's OAO Rosneft, BP stands to lose considerably should Washington and Brussels impose fresh sanctions on energy and other key sectors of Russia's economy over the Ukraine conflict.

In Paris, Renault slumped 4.2% to 66.55 euros, after the French automaker posted a negative 360 million euro automotive-unit cash flow in the first half, compared to a loss of 31 million euros a year ago.

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Speaking to journalists in Paris, Renault CFO Dominique Thormann predicted that the second half will be a "mixed bag of risks and opportunities," and further declines in emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia.

In Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank (DB) shed 11% after rising earlier in the day.

Europe's largest investment bank posted a better-than-expected pre-tax second-quarter profit of 917 million euros, 16% above last year, amid a 4% decline in non-interest expenses and lower provisions for credit losses. Income from trading debt and foreign exchange amounted to 1.83 billion euros, which was also above expectations.

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