LONDON May 15 European stocks treaded water on
Thursday as mixed national GDP data from France and Germany
contrasted with some upbeat corporate earnings, keeping key
indexes within striking distance of multi-year highs.
Traders were set to scrutinise pan-euro-zone GDP and
inflation figures, both due at 0900 GMT, to gauge the odds of
more monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank, the
prospect of which has lifted stocks in the past week.
France's own GDP reading missed expectations as it showed
the euro zone's second largest economy was flat in the first
quarter of 2014. German economic growth, however, doubled to 0.8
percent quarter on quarter, beating consensus estimates.
Insurers Aegon, media company Vivendi,
clothing retailer H&M and jeweller Richemont
traded between 0.8 percent and 3.4 percent higher after their
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, however,
was down 0.1 percent lower at 1,366.94 points 0704 GMT. It
tracked a selloff on Wall Street, which was led by cyclical
stocks and small cap stocks.
"Results will provide support but the focus today is on the
economic data," Mike Reuter, a broker at Tradition said.
"If readings later this morning from the likes of Italy come
in lower than expected, we could really see a change in
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Lionel Laurent)