* E.ON and Swiss Life rise as results beat forecasts
* Nagging worries over Ukraine crisis limit gains
* FTSEurofirst 300 edges up 0.1 percent
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Aug 13 European stock markets were
steady on Wednesday, supported by gains in the shares of utility
E.ON and reinsurer Swiss Life after
However, economic sanctions over Ukraine and the broader
risks posed by conflict between Kiev's forces and pro-Russian
separatists limited the market's rebound from a recent sharp
Investors are also worried that Europe's economic recovery
remains muted. The Ukraine tensions were assigned some of the
blame for data that showed an unexpected contraction in euro
zone industrial production in June.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had
hit a 6-1/2 year high in late June but then fell back some 5
percent due to the Ukraine crisis, edged up by 0.1 percent to
1,321.34 points in late-session trading.
A 5 percent rise at E.ON gave one of the biggest lifts to
the FTSEurofirst 300.
Even though E.ON posted a drop in interim profits, with a
warning the Ukraine crisis would hurt its Russian earnings, its
shares rose as the results beat analysts' forecasts.
Swiss Life also surged 6.9 percent after Switzerland's
largest dedicated life insurer beat expectations with a slight
rise in first-half net income, buoyed by a strong performance in
its home market.
Traders for now were still betting that the Ukraine crisis
would not escalate much further.
"The market went down too far, too fast. I'm a buyer at
these levels," Zurich-based ACIES Asset Management hedge fund
trader and principal, Andreas Clenow, said. "I think neither
side has an interest in a prolonged fight."
Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss bank
Reyl, said: "We are watching the situation very carefully. You
never know, suddenly the situation may change, but I do not
think (Russian President Vladimir) Putin will go for a full
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Louise