February 20, 2018 / 10:06 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-HSBC weighs on banks as European stocks advance

* STOXX index up 0.6 pct at close

* HSBC and BHP retreat

* Edenred, Simcorp jump on earnings updates (Updates prices at close)

By Julien Ponthus

LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Tuesday thanks to a slew of well-received results, though banks were a weak spot after HSBC reported weaker than expected earnings and said it needed as much as $7 billion of fresh capital.

The pan-regional STOXX 600 benchmark ended the session with a gain of 0.6 percent, while the banking index declined 0.1 percent.

A weaker euro also helped euro zone stocks make headway after a lacklustre start to the week.

HSBC dropped 3 percent after its trading update, the last under outgoing CEO Stuart Gulliver, who has pushed through a painful restructuring of Europe's biggest bank by market value.

Credit Suisse analysts said HSBC's pledge to undertake share buybacks "as and when appropriate" could mark a change in capital-return strategy by the new management.

Elsewhere, some positive earnings buoyed sentiment.

Edenred was among top performers, rising 6.5 percent after the French provider of prepaid meal vouchers and cards reported record 2017 earnings, increased its dividend and expressed confidence for 2018.

Danish software developer Simcorp led the STOXX index with a 12.2 percent rise after its full-year results.

Energy stocks supported indices, with BP, Total , Royal Dutch Shell and ENI up between 0.2 percent and 1.6 percent.

Among regional indexes, London's FTSE 100 was flat, with the world's biggest miner, BHP, joining HSBC among fallers as it dropped by 4.6 percent after missing results forecasts.

InterContinental Hotels fell 2.7 percent after putting shareholder payouts on ice as it pursues a new strategy to accelerate growth.

Swiss financial software company Temenos was 6 percent lower after news that it was in talks to buy British rival Fidessa Group for about 1.4 billion pounds.

Germany's HeidelbergCement gained 0.3 percent after raising its target for savings resulting from the takeover of Italcementi for the third time in less than a year. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer and David Goodman)

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