* Danish shipper, German drugmaker add most points to
* FTSEurofirst and Euro STOXX 50 edge up 0.1 pct
* Nerves over less Fed stimulus remain
* Investors keep long-term positive view on Europe
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Aug 16 Gains in heavyweight stocks
Maersk and Bayer kept European shares
steady on Friday, with the broader market staying under pressure
due to concerns over less central bank stimulus.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which fell
1 percent on Thursday in what was its biggest one-day drop in
six weeks, edged up 0.1 percent to 1,228.31 points in early
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also advanced
0.1 percent to 2,838.60 points, putting the index back within
touching distance of a two-year high of 2,855.89 reached earlier
Danish shipping and oil group AP Moller-Maersk and
healthcare stock Bayer added the most points to the FTSEurofirst
Maersk rose 5.9 percent after posting higher second quarter
profits, while Bayer rose after Barclays raised its rating on
the stock to "equal weight" from "underweight".
Global equity markets have been volatile over the last
month, due to growing expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve
may start to scale back economic stimulus measures that have
driven much of this year's stock market rally in September.
The FTSEurofirst 300 and Euro STOXX 50 are both up 8 percent
since the start of 2013 but many traders remain positive on
European equities over the longer term.
Andreas Clenow, hedge fund trader and principal of ACIES
Asset Management, said the broader upwards trend for European
shares was intact.
"The Euro STOXX 50 hit a high two days ago. After that, any
negative factor will be blown out of proportion. We're probably
overdue for a minor correction but we're still in a bull
market," he said.
Clairinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu took a similar
line, holding "long" positions to bet on future gains on Italy's
FTSE MIB, Spain's IBEX and France's CAC-40
indexes, with markets further buoyed by signs of an
economic recovery in the euro zone.