European shares steady; Peugeot surges

PARIS Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:21am EST

PARIS Feb 19 (Reuters) - European shares were steady in early trade on Wednesday, underpinned by strong gains in PSA Peugeot Citroen after the French carmaker announced a partnership with a Chinese rival.

Investors combed through a raft of company results, seeking clues on the outlook for corporate profits and on the potential damage caused by sharp currency swings in emerging markets.

But Peugeot dominated, rising 8 percent as traders cited short-covering on the stock following the 3 billion euro capital tie-up with China's Dongfeng. The French firm said the cash injection would buy time for a recovery after losing 2.32 billion euros in 2013.

At 0810 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.06 percent at 1,338.42 points.

The benchmark index has gained 5.3 percent over the past two weeks, boosted in part by relatively good results in the current earnings season. So far, 58 percent of companies have reported in-line or better-than-expected profits, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.

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