LONDON Jan 22 European shares ended flat on
Tuesday, after a choppy session, as the prospect of price war in
the French telecom sector balanced signs of economic improvement
France Telecom, Vivendi and Bouygues
shed between 4.6 percent and 3.9 percent after the
head of Vivendi's SFR mobile operator said it was cutting prices
by as much as 25 percent.
Some support came from a better-than-expected reading of
German ZEW investor sentiment, up sharply for a second
consecutive month in January in a sign the euro zone crisis is
no longer hitting Europe's largest economy as hard as late 2012.
The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally ended at
1,166.40, having erased earlier losses after a technical
sell-off that started on Germany's blue-chip DAX index.
The flat close left the FTSEurofirst 300 just a touch below
a near two-year high of 1,170.29 hit on Jan. 10, after a robust
start to 2013, which has seen the index climb 2.8 percent.
"(ZEW) helped markets move forward a little bit but I still
think a lot of indices are in wait-and-see mode where markets
are more or less digesting the big gains," Philippe Gijsels,
head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets, said.
"Also markets are waiting a bit for earnings out of the
Tech companies Google Inc, International Business
Machines and Texas Instruments are set to report
after Wall Street's close, ahead of Apple Inc's
earnings release on Wednesday.