LONDON, April 15 European equity indexes opened
broadly flat on Tuesday as the threat of costly sanctions
against Russia and mixed sales updates from bellwether consumer
groups such as L'Oreal and SABMiller capped appetite for shares.
At 0707 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index
was up 0.1 percent at 1,321.01 points. Blue-chip
indexes in Britain, Germany and France
were between flat and 0.1 percent higher.
Shares in brewer SABMiller fell 2.4 percent to
feature among the top FTSEurofirst fallers after its full-year
sales update, with analysts at Oriel Securities flagging net
producer revenue slightly beneath expectations.
French cosmetics group L'Oreal and foods giant
Nestle's both undershot market expectations with their
first-quarter sales but pledged they would return to top-line
growth in the coming quarters.
Shares in L'Oreal, which had risen nearly 10 percent in the
previous month, gained 1 percent while Nestle inched up 0.2
European foreign ministers agreed to step up sanctions
against Russia and U.S. officials have said they were in
consultations with European partners on how to punish Moscow for
what Kiev and its Western allies call a Russian plot to
"If there is any sort of announcement that there are going
to be further curbs from the West, we'd expect the market to
drop off again," Stuart McDonald, a sales trader at IG, said.
(Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)