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Automaker Earnings Are Driving Europe Higher

Investors digest a series of earnings from automakers.

European stocks opened mixed Wednesday as investors await an estimate of second quarter growth in the U.K. and what could be a key statement on balance sheet reduction from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Daimler AG (DDAIY)  posted slightly weaker-than-expected second quarter earnings even as the group notched record sales for its luxury Mercedes-Benz division thanks in part to surging sales in China. Daimler said operating profit for the three months ending in June came in at €3.74 billion, modestly lower than the €3.8 billion street forecast but 15% higher than the same period last year. Group revenues grew 7% to €41.158 billion, Daimler said, with sales in China rising 18% to a record €4.652 billion.

PSA Group SA (PUGOY)  lifted its full-year outlook for European sales after posting record first half profits thanks to aggressive pricing and ongoing cost cuts. The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars said net income for the six months ending in June rose 3.6% to €1.26 billion ($1.5 billion) as revenue grew 5% from the same period last year to just over €29 billion. PSA Group raised its European growth forecast to 3% from 1% and its China outlook to 5%.

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