European shares edge higher, Lufthansa takes off

LONDON, March 13 Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:16am EDT

LONDON, March 13 (Reuters) - A leading European share index edged off 1-month lows in cautious trading on Thursday, led by Germany's largest airline Lufthansa after its profits beat expectations.

Lufthansa rose 6.7 percent to the top of the FTSEurofirst 300 index after it said it was confident of reaching goals set out under a wide-ranging restructuring programme and restored its dividend payout.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.1 percent at 1,309.11 points by 0811 GMT after closing 1.1 percent lower to a one-month low in the previous session, when it slipped below the 50 percent retracement of a rally from February 4 to 25. It has fallen more than 3 percent since March 6.

Latest data from China giving fresh signs of the slowdown in economic growth in the world's second-largest economy kept investors jittery and mad major stock indexes vulnerable to further sell-offs, analysts said.

China's industrial output growth came in below forecasts for the combined January/February period, with retail sales also weaker than expected. Some analysts said the figures pointed to a 7 percent economic growth this year, against a target of 7.5 percent.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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