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European shares gain for 3rd day, SocGen and Total advance

LONDON: European shares climbed for a third consecutive session on Thursday, with some major companies such as France's second-biggest listed bank Societe Generale and oil major Total advancing after their results.
Eutelsat also surged, up 6 percent and the top gainer in the 600 index, after the telecommunication services firm's first half revenue fell less than expected. It also predicted higher Internet and mobile satellite sales and planned to buy a Viasat satellite.
Shares in Societe Generale rose 2 percent after the bank reported better than expected net income in the final three months of last year and said it would float a stake in its booming vehicle leasing unit ALD.
France's Total gained 0.8 percent after the company also reported better than expected fourth quarter net profits, thanks to cost savings that enabled it to raise its dividend, and said it was hunting opportunities to buy assets from struggling rivals.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said that there was a strong value case for European equities relative to the United States. However, the value case was conditional on the earnings cycle in Europe turning to relative profit growth and the impact of political and sovereign risks.
"So far the signs are positive. Earnings (in Europe) are now rising relative to the U.S. and we expect double digit EPS growth in 2017," Bank of America ML analysts said in a note.