* FTSEurofirst up 1.02 points
* Miners hit by profit taking, poor Evraz results
* ENRC falls on boardroom unrest
* Investors turn to defensives
* Asset managers rally after strong Ashmore results
By Alistair Smout and David Brett
LONDON, April 11 European shares paused on
Thursday after their biggest daily rise in three months the
previous session, with profit-taking in miners capping gains
following record highs on the U.S. stock market.
Miners fell 1.1 percent having been up 3.6 percent
on the week, with Evraz reigniting fears over earnings
in the sector by sliding to a surprise loss in 2012.
The miners shed 12.7 percent to become the biggest fallers
on the STOXX Europe 600
Sixty-five percent of European miners have so far missed
earnings expectations for the full year, compared with a 59
percent beat for the broader index.
A year-on-year growth contraction of 38.7 percent has
prompted analysts to cut forecasts for the coming year by an
average of 2.6 percent over the last 30 days, according to
Thomson Reuters Starmine Data.
Volatile ENRC lost 5.3 percent after a good run,
with Exane BNP Paribas cutting its price target on the stock. It
was also hit by a report in the Financial Times that a board
member was threatening to resign.
Defensive stocks, however, helped the FTSEurofirst 300
edge up by 1.19 points to 1,187.34 at 0751 GMT, near
European stocks have recouped all of their losses from last
week after a disappointing batch of U.S. data sparked a sell-off
However, investors were split on whether a new record high
on a leading U.S. equity index overnight was a fresh reason to
buy up stocks or a signal that the global market rally had gone
"Investors looking on at the U.S. may be further encouraged
to put money to work in European shares based on the ongoing
strength seen," Joe Neighbour, senior broker at Central Markets,
"We would urge caution on investing at all-time highs as the
risk/reward on the trade favours the downside from here," he
Investors sought refuge in defensive stocks that are
resilient to economic uncertainty, with luxury and
retail among the top sectoral gainers.
Financial services rose 1 percent to top the
sectoral risers list after Ashmore said it attracted
over $7 billion of net new money in the first quarter.
The asset manager rose 11.7 percent, with peer
Man Group up 6.4 percent.
Despite underlying appetite for equities globally, supported
by continued central bank stimulus, European stocks struggled to
return to all time highs, hamstrung by weak growth and political
"Europe is still in the doldrums and risks having trouble
reaching minimum targets of 3,000 points for the Eurostoxx 50
, and 4,000 for the CAC 40," Societe Generale
says in a note. The EuroSTOXX 50 is currently at 2,654, with the
CAC back at 3,746.
(Editing by Chris Pizzey, London MPG Desk, +44 (0)207 542-4441)