LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - European equities steadied in early trading on Tuesday after a fall in the previous session, buoyed by a rise in banking stocks on the back of strong European economic data.
The STOXX Europe 600 banking index extended recent gains and rose 0.3 percent as strong German retail sales added to a string of upbeat data, fuelling expectations about a pick up in economic activity.
At 0813 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was flat at 1,309.16 points after falling 0.2 percent in the previous session.
Among individual stocks, Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk rose 4.7 percent after selling 48.68 percent of Dansk Supermarked, the largest retailer in Denmark, and 18.72 percent of department store chain F. Salling, to retail holding The Salling Companies.