European shares jittery around one-week lows
* FTSEurofirst steady around one-week lows * 100-day moving average adds to market indecision * Euro zone finmins, earnings season in focus By Toni Vorobyova LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) - European equities hovered around one week-lows in choppy trading on Monday, as investors weighed relatively attractive valuations after three sessions of falls against weak global economic data and crisis rumblings from the euro zone. Softer than expected Chinese inflation fuelled economic concerns following a disappointingly weak U.S. jobs report on Friday. For equities, the silver lining will be if the weak numbers prompt more stimulus from central banks, especially given easing price pressures. Sentiment was also mixed going in to a meeting of European finance ministers, with Spanish and Italian equity markets rising even as bond prices fell, as investors try to gauge the chances of a speedy agreement over the fine print of the region's rescue plans. "There are some hopes that we will see some respite for equity markets from the political side, albeit it's not a given," said Gerhard Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank. "The market is very much for a flexible investor, the cycle is very short ... Buy on dips, yes, but I think the dip has to be lower than what we have seen so far to tempt long only investors back into the market." The FTSEurofirst 300 was broadly flat at 1,034.33 points by 0741 GMT, having darted either side of the no-change mark in a range of 1,035.65 to a one-week low of 1,032.66 in volatile early trade, finding it tough to hold convincingly either side of the 100-day moving average around 1034. The Euro STOXX 50 edged up 0.2 percent to 2,238.77 points, in similarly jittery trade, with some investors seeing value in defensive utilities, drugmakers and food producers after the euro zone blue chip index dropped 3.7 percent in the previous three sessions. EARNINGS WATCH With Alcoa kicking off the U.S. second quarter earnings season on Monday and Europe following next week, investors will be watching how economic weakness have impacted corporate profits. The aluminium giant is seen managing only a 5 cent per share profit for the past three months, bruised by weak prices for the metal, and prompting investors to push short interest in the stock to record highs, according to Markit. In Europe, Metro, the world's No.4 retailer, said on Monday it would not escape the impact of the European debt crisis, which was hitting demand in Germany. Its shares fell 3.2 percent, the biggest faller among European blue chips. There was some good news for Germany, though, with both its exports and imports rebounding in May. Peter Garnry, equity strategist at Saxo Bank, forecast that data could start to turn higher soon. "So if we see weakening and a sell-off in the next couple of weeks, (this) could be the opportunity to buy," he said, but added that he still prefers U.S. equities over European ones due to tail risks linked to the crisis.
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