LONDON Feb 20 European shares retreated on
Wednesday after the previous session's sharp gains, digesting a
crop of weak corporate earnings and as traders cited caution
ahead of the minutes to the U.S. Federal Reserve's January
Germany's biggest airline Deutsche Lufthansa shed
2.4 percent after it announced plans to suspend its dividend
payment, while posting a net profit of 990 million euros ($1.32
billion) in 2012.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.2 percent at
1,168.66 by 0810 GMT, having jumped 1.1 percent on Tuesday
fuelled by robust German sentiment data.
"I see no reason why we can't consolidate the gains and
possibly move higher. I certainly think that central bank policy
is going to remain accommodative," Michael Hewson, analyst at
CMC Markets, said.
"I think the only potential fly in the ointment could be a
slightly more hawkish tone from certain Fed members with respect
to the duration of quantitative easing."
The U.S. Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its Federal
Open Market Committee meeting after market close.