* FTSEurofirst 300 flat, steadying near 5-year highs
* DAX briefly touches new record high before turning flat
* Assa Abloy and Aggreko rise after earnings updates
* Trim back equities in short-term: JP Morgan Cazenove
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Oct 28 Pan-European stocks steadied near
5-year highs on Monday, propped up by robust corporate earnings,
but with some strategists taking profits from the recent rally.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index was flat at 1,284.40
points in mid-session trade, hovering just below a 5-year high
of 1,291.93 points reached last week.
Germany's DAX index rose by as much as 0.4 percent
to touch a new record high of 9,017.95 points before settling
back to trade flat at 8,988.85 points.
Lock maker Assa Abloy and power company Aggreko
topped the FTSEurofirst 300's leaderboard, after Assa
Abloy posted third quarter earnings ahead of market forecasts,
while Aggreko reported a rise in underlying revenues and trading
The FTSEurofirst 300 is up 13 percent since the start of
2013 while the DAX has risen by 18 percent.
JP Morgan Cazenove advised investors to trim back equity
holdings in the near-term to cash in on the rally so far, as a
purely short-term tactical trade.
JN Financial trader Ed Smyth also said he would look to sell
the DAX if it rose to the 9,020-9,120 point level for a profit,
but both Smyth and JP Morgan Cazenove remained bullish on
European equities on a longer-term, fundamental basis.
According to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine, 53 percent
of the companies on the broader pan-European STOXX 600 index
have beaten or met market expectations with their third
quarter earnings updates so far.
Tim Gregory, head of global equities at Psigma Investment
Management, said robust results from leading European companies
would continue to support European equity markets.
Schroders' European equities fund manager Martin Skanberg
also felt European stock markets could rise further, buoyed by
signs of an economic recovery in Europe.
"We have seen some strong performance from European equities
over the summer, but would argue there is more to
come," said Skanberg.