* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.1 pct, retreats from 6-year high
* DAX edges up, hovers below record high
* Profit taking hits Portuguese stocks
* Mediaset drops after quarterly loss
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, May 14 European shares dipped on
Wednesday, pausing after a two-month rally that propelled a
number of indexes to multi-year peaks as investors awaited
confirmation of further stimulus from the ECB before chasing the
Shares in Mediaset featured among the biggest
losers, down 5.7 percent after the Italian television company
posted a net loss in the first quarter.
Compass surged 5 percent after the world's biggest
catering firm said it would return 1 billion pounds ($1.68
billion) to shareholders through a special dividend.
At 0750 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,366.93 points, after
hitting a six-year high in the previous session. Germany's DAX
gained 0.04 percent, hovering just below a record high
hit in January.
European stocks have been lifted by expectations of fresh
measures from the European Central Bank to keep inflation from
staying too low.
Last Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi said the central
bank was ready to take action in June to boost the euro zone
economy if updated inflation forecasts merited it, and sources
said on Tuesday Germany's Bundesbank was ready to support the
ECB, fuelling a rally in equities.
"A majority of investors are bullish, pushing indexes above
key psychological levels. All eyes are on inflation data at this
point, that's what really matters right now," said Guillaume
Dumans, co-head of research firm 2Bremans.
But a number of traders said the recent rally - which has
seen the FTSEurofirst 300 rise some 7 percent from lows in March
- may soon run out of steam as investors look for an opportunity
to cash in on that rise.
Peripheral euro zone markets including Italy and Portugal
already experienced a bout of profit taking on Tuesday,
following their sharp outperformance since the start of the
year. Lisbon's PSI 20 tumbled again on Wednesday, down
"For me, it's overdone here, and there's a pullback coming,"
said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(addintional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in London; Editing by