(Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday and were set for a fourth straight weekly gain, buoyed by hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve could soon pause its aggressive interest rate-hike cycle following cooler-than-expected inflation in March.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.3% by 0707 GMT, after data showed overnight that U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in March. Real estate shares led the gains, rising 0.7%, while insurance-sector shares slid 0.6%.
The blue-chip STOXX 50 index held on to its 22-year highs hit on Wednesday, adding 0.3%.
Hermes added 0.9% as the Birkin bag makers sales rose 23% in the first quarter, above market expectations.
TomTom jumped 11.8% as the Dutch navigation and digital mapping company reported better-than-expected revenue for the first quarter.British veterinary pharmaceuticals firm Dechra, jumped 37%, as the company said it had entered into talks with private equity group EQT for a possible offer in a 4.63 billion pound ($5.80 billion) all-cash deal.
Investors will closely monitor U.S. earnings starting later in the day with focus on big banks including JP Morgan Chase & Co, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, as last month's regional banking crisis and a slowing economy cast a shadow over the banking sector.
(Reporting by Shubham Batra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)