* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.2 pct
* Morrison's warning sparks sell-off among UK retailers
* Mounting worries over Chinese growth limit rebound
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, March 13 European stocks inched higher
early trade on Thursday, halting their two-week slide, although
a sell-off among UK retailers after a profit warning by
Morrison's limited the rebound.
Shares in Adecco, the world's largest staffing
agency, were also among the top losers, down 8 percent after
Swiss investment firm Jacobs Holding and the Jacobs family sold
a 16 percent stake for 2.2 billion swiss francs ($2.5 billion).
At 0845 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,309.22 points. The index
has slipped 3.2 percent since late February, hurt by tensions in
Ukraine and worries over a slowdown in Chinese economic growth.
"It's a perfect market for swing traders," TradingSat
analyst Alexandre Tixier said.
"We've entered a very volatile consolidation phase, and the
best strategy is to go contrarian and buy when there's a big
negative move, and sell when stocks quickly bounce back. The
market could stay in this phase for a couple of months."
UK retailers dropped following Wm Morrison's sharp
cut to its profit outlook, which sent its shares down 7 percent.
Rivals Sainsbury's and Tesco lost 6 percent
and 3.4 percent respectively.
Also rattling investors, data showed China's economy slowed
markedly in the first two months of the year, with growth in
investment, retail sales and factory output all dropping to
The figures, which fuelled worries of a
greater-than-expected cooling of the world's second-biggest
economy, weighed on copper prices, which were hovering not far
off multi-year lows on Thursday.
"In the short-run, equity markets are risk-averse due to the
political uncertainties and the fear of a slowdown in China,"
said Christian Stocker, equity strategist at UniCredit.
"But in the medium-term, the picture remains positive for
equities. Our mid-year index target for the DAX is 10,000 points
and for the Euro STOXX 50 is 3,250 points."
Around Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index was flat,
Germany's DAX index up 0.2 percent, and France's CAC 40
up 0.2 percent.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
was up 0.2 percent at 3,071.23 points.
Tensions in Ukraine also limited the market's rebound. U.S.
President Barack Obama warned Russia it faced costs from the
West unless it changed course in Ukraine, and pledged to "stand
with Ukraine" as he met with the country's new prime minister in
Europe bourses in 2014:
Asset performance in 2014:
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