* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.3 pct
* Euro STOXX 50 capped by retracement level
* Data shows Europe earnings lag U.S. results
* Peugeot surges 6 pct in short covering rally
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Feb 13 European shares climbed for the
second day running in choppy trade on Wednesday, although a
batch of mixed corporate results limited the gains.
French bank Societe Generale dropped 4 percent
after unveiling a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, while
Dutch brewer Heineken rallied 5.1 percent, propelled
by forecast-beating results.
At 1312 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,163.34 points.
"We're in a paradox, European indexes have been in a
technical rebound which remains very fragile, while at the same
time, U.S. indexes are hitting multi-year highs," FXCM analyst
Nicolas Cheron said.
"It's tough to see a clear trend here, at least until we get
some macro data, but broadly speaking I wouldn't be surprised to
see European stocks sliding a bit more."
After a brisk rally sparked in mid-November, European shares
started to retreat in late January, as the return of fears about
political risks in Southern Europe as well as a batch of
lower-than-expected corporate results and earnings forecasts
dented investors' appetite for equities.
About 40 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies have
reported results so far in the earnings season, of which only 49
percent have met or beaten forecasts, according to Thomson
It's a stark contrast with Wall Street, where 69 percent of
S&P 500 companies have reported results, of which 77
percent of companies have met or beaten consensus.
"We're in a lull right now, we've ran out of positive
catalysts and the great rotation out of fixed income and into
equities hasn't really started," said David Thebault, head of
quantitative sales trading, at Global Equities.
"I've stopped buying stocks for now, although I'm getting
ready to buy call spreads to capture the rise when the market
resumes its rally."
To play a call spread, an investor buys call options at a
specific strike price while also selling the same number of
calls at a higher strike price, a way to capture a potential
rise in the market without directly buying shares.
Around Europe, UK's FTSE 100 index was up 0.2
percent, Germany's DAX index up 0.6 percent, and
France's CAC 40 up 0.3 percent.
The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index
was up 0.3 percent at 2,657.02 points, but it failed to break
above a resistance level at 2,657.58 points representing the
38.2 percent Fibonacci retracement of the pull-back started in
"The fact that it can't break above the level means that the
rebound started last week is just technical, it's not a strong
move on the upside that could bring the index back to its 2013
high," said Aurel BGC analyst Gerard Sagnier, who looks at
technical analysis of charts as a way to predict future trends.
Shares in PSA Peugeot Citroen surged 5.8 percent,
as traders said the absence of a big negative surprise in the
troubled carmaker's results prompted short sellers to cover
Peugeot, one of the most shorted stocks across Europe with
17 percent of its shares out on loan, recorded a 5 billion-euro
loss for 2012 and pledged 900 million in new cuts for 2013.