* FTSE 100 index flat
* Euro growth worries resurface after PMI data
* Chinese manufacturing data had provided lift
* Bunzl, ENRC and Anglo all respond to broker notes
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Dec 14 UK shares were broadly flat in
early deals on Friday, after euro zone purchasing managers
surveys suggested recession was deepening, turning back a
positive start due to improved figures out of China.
Stocks were also hit by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy's reiteration that Spain would not be requesting a bailout
Such a request is a precursor to direct monetary support
from the European Central Bank for a country still seen as at
the heart of the euro zone's problems.
China's HSBC flash purchasing managers' index for December,
by contrast, hit a 14-month high thanks to a fifth straight
"The Chinese PMI was slightly better, and it was enough to
give markets a jump today. People are realising that the Chinese
recovery is taking hold," Nick Xanders, head of European equity
strategy at brokerage BTIG, said.
A China recovery into 2013 could help a UK-listed mining
sector that has weighed on the FTSE this year, leading it to
underperform European peers.
"I'm not convinced that the European situation is done and
dusted yet, however, and I think there's potential for earnings
downgrades in the first half of next year," he added.
At 0955 GMT, the FTSE 100 index was down just 0.35
points - or 0.01 percent - at 5,929.37, having closed 16.24
points lower on Thursday at 5929.61, a move which brought an end
to six days of continuous gains.
Among the biggest gainers on the FTSE 100 was outsourcing
firm Bunzl, which added 1.1 percent after U.S. bank
Citi raised its rating to Buy from Hold.
"Three month relative underperformance has returned Bunzl's
valuation to an attractive level," the bank's analysts said in a
"We like the potential for further growth regardless of
macro-economic conditions and, historically, Bunzl has
outperformed the FTSE 100 during bear markets without
sacrificing relative performance during recovery bull markets."
The two heaviest fallers on the index also reacted to broker
notes, with miners Eurasian and Anglo American
shedding 2.7 and 1.5 percent respectively. Traders cited a UBS
downgrade of the pair to "neutral" from "buy".
The broader lack of direction in the index was reflected in
volumes, which were a mere 8.8 percent of the already thin
average 90 day volume at 0917 GMT.
(Additional reporting by David Brett; editing by Patrick