LONDON Feb 14 European equities edged lower on Thursday, knocked by weaker than expected French and German gross domestic product readings, although a string of upbeat corporate reports helped to limit losses.
The French and German economies both shrunk more than expected in the final quarter of 2012, with the latter hit by falling exports, data showed on Thursday, signalling a deeper recession for the euro zone as a whole.
"This is major data, so it's dampening sentiment," said Anita Paluch, sales trader at Gekko Capital Markets.
"It is kind of disappointing that Germany, which had shown so much resilience is now showing signs of suffering from the debt crisis."
The German DAX, the French CAC 40 and the EuroSTOXX 50 all traded 0.1 percent lower by 0804 GMT. The broad FTSEurofirst 300 was flat, pausing after two straight sessions of gains.