European shares turn positive, helped by U.S. data

LONDON, March 19 Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:26am EDT

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - Pan-European stock indexes turned positive in afternoon trade on Tuesday, cheered by stronger-than-expected U.S. housing data and by U.S. futures pointing to a higher open on Wall Street.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.1 percent at 1,201.12 points by 1322 GMT, after earlier falling as low as 1,194.19 .

The EuroSTOXX 50 index of euro zone blue chips, though, remained in the red, trading 0.4 percent lower on continued concerns about Cyprus, where parliament is expected to veto a bailout plan, raising the spectre of a default and a banking collapse.