LONDON Aug 15 European shares ended flat on
Wednesday, consolidating after a recent strong rally and held
back by weaker mining stocks after downbeat results from
Eurasian Natural Resources.
The Kazakh miner was easily the top faller, off 8.9 percent,
after the group slashed its interim dividend as lower production
volumes and price weakness in its steelmaking commodities
dragged first-half profit down 41 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed at
1,101.68, having risen 0.7 percent on Tuesday, in volume at only
53 percent of its 90-day daily average, with many businesses
across Europe shut for Assumption Day holidays.
"Its risk-off time again for investors as fever pitch
expectations of central bank action are starting to wane along
with the euro," Mike McCudden, head of derivatives at
Interactive Investor, said.
"Euro zone economic data rarely fails to disappoint while
net borrowing by Spanish banks continues to trend higher.
Investors should be nervous at these levels."
The index has jumped around 8 percent since late July when
ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank was "ready to
do whatever it takes to preserve the euro", sparking
expectations of bold measures to help lower the borrowing costs
of debt-stricken Spain and Italy.