European stocks recoup most losses; weak outlook hits SAP
* SAP down 3.2% despite positive Q3
* Miners hit by Evergrande troubles
* Unilever, Hermes beat earnings estimates
* Barclays, Nordea down despite strong earnings (Updates to close)
By Anisha Sircar and Susan Mathew
Oct 21 (Reuters) - European stocks steadied at six-week highs on Thursday, as buying of defensives and growth stocks helped offset losses in miners and disappointing earnings forecasts, including from software major SAP.
Sentiment was also subdued by renewed concerns about China's property sector after the collapse of a $2.6 billion asset sale at indebted developer China Evergrande Group 3333.HK .
After declining as much as 0.6%, the Europe-wide STOXX 600 index .STOXX ended down 0.1% at 469.71. A European equity strategist at Bank of America had earlier this month set a year-end target of 420 for the STOXX 600, implying a fall of about 10% from current levels.
European miners .SXPP , which have a large exposure to China .SXPP , shed 3.0% as iron ore and base metal price plunged.
UK-listed shares of Anglo American AAL.L fell 2.7% even though it reported a 2% rise in overall production in the third quarter.
"Mining stocks have been unable to shake investor concerns sparked by yet another twist in the Evergrande saga," said Danni Hewson, a financial analyst at AJ Bell.
Data on Wednesday showed euro zone consumer confidence fell by 0.8 points in October from September.
Company after company has warned that supply issues and price hikes aren't going to be a flash in the pan and are going to impact earnings going forward, AJ Bell's Hewson said.
Europe's most valuable tech company SAP SAPG.DE dropped 3.2% and was the biggest drag on the STOXX 600 despite positive third-quarter results as traders were unimpressed by the company's outlook, particularly its licensing forecast.
Swiss engineering and tech group ABB ABBN.S tumbled nearly 6.2% after it lowered its full-year sales forecast and warned of shortages of components, while Sweden's AB Volvo VOLVb.ST fell about 0.4% after it said chip shortages hampered production of its trucks.
Nordic Semiconductor NOD.OL plunged 12.4% after its core earnings fell slightly year-on-year and the company warned of rising costs.
There was no relief for banking stocks .SX7P either. The sector fell 0.4% even though UK's Barclays BARC.L and Finland's Nordea NDASE.ST reported upbeat quarterly results.
Spain's lender-heavy IBEX index .IBEX slipped 0.8%, the most among regional peers, after downbeat earnings at Bankinter BKT.MC weighed.
Defensive sectors such as personal and household goods index .SXQP rose 0.8% on the back of Unilever's ULVR.L third-quarter earnings beat.
Luxury stocks were also higher after Birkin bag maker Hermes HRMS.PA rose 1.4% on strong quarterly sales.
Cartier-owner Richemont CFR.S advanced 0.4% after HSBC HSBA.L raised the brand to "buy" from "hold", citing its leadership and momentum in the jewellery industry.
Reporting by Anisha Sircar and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V, Anil D'Silva, William Maclean
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