EDINBURGH, July 23 European stocks held steady
on Wednesday, stabilising after a surge in the previous session
as traders digested mixed earnings and the possibility of fresh
EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine and the downing of a
ABB fell 2.6 percent in early deals, a top faller
in Europe, after it reported a bigger-than-expected fall in
second-quarter net profit, hit in part by a weak performance in
its loss-making power systems unit.
However, Daimler and Akzo Nobel rose
between 1.9 percent and 3.6 percent after reporting
higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.1
percent, at 1,375.31 points.
Also in focus was the Ukraine crisis, with the EU raising
the prospect of restricting Russian access to European capital
markets, defence and energy technology, and the ongoing conflict
in the Gaza Strip where Israeli forces pounded multiple sites
and said it was meeting stiff resistance from Hamas Islamists.
"While Russian equities and the rouble enjoyed some reprieve
in yesterday's trade, the repercussions from recent events are
far from over," Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG, said.
"The EU is still threatening to introduce a package of
further significant restrictive measures against Russia... This
perhaps warrants some caution for some investors."
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Lionel Laurent)