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Shares in Thomas Cook and Publicis were among the worst hit on a busy day for European earnings, but it was a better morning for banking stocks and Ashmore, the emerging markets-focused fund house.

The continent’s major stock indices made steady gains overall, despite a number of big fallers. The FTSE 100 rose 0.24 per cent, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index was hovering near an all-time high after climbing 0.16 per cent, and the europe-wide Stoxx 600 climbed 0.35 per cent.

Thomas Cook slumped to the bottom of the FTSE 250 after it took a “cautious” outlook during its first-quarter trading update. The travel group reported earnings in line with forecasts, but stressed uncertainty around the political and economic outlook, prompting shares to fall 5.6 per cent, to 86.9p.

At the other end of the index, Ashmore’s shares jumped 5.8 per cent, to 337p, after the company took advantage of recovering sentiment in emerging markets to post much better than expected profits.

Smith & Nephew was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100, dropping 3.8 per cent despite committing to improve its revenue growth this year.

In mainland Europe, Publicis was the worst performer on the Europe-wide Stoxx 600 index, dropping 5.4 per cent to 59.7p after lower revenues in the US drove it to a full-year loss.

Encouraging results from SocGen and Mediobanca helped the eurozone-wide Euro Stoxx Banks Index halt three days of declines, climbing 0.83 per cent.

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