July 23, 2014 / 7:25 AM / in 3 years

European shares steady on mixed earnings, Ukraine caution

EDINBURGH, July 23 (Reuters) - European stocks held steady on Wednesday, stabilising after a surge in the previous session as traders digested mixed earnings and the possibility of fresh EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine and the downing of a Malaysian airliner.

ABB fell 2.6 percent in early deals, a top faller in Europe, after it reported a bigger-than-expected fall in second-quarter net profit, hit in part by a weak performance in its loss-making power systems unit.

However, Daimler and Akzo Nobel rose between 1.9 percent and 3.6 percent after reporting higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.1 percent, at 1,375.31 points.

Also in focus was the Ukraine crisis, with the EU raising the prospect of restricting Russian access to European capital markets, defence and energy technology, and the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip where Israeli forces pounded multiple sites and said it was meeting stiff resistance from Hamas Islamists.

“While Russian equities and the rouble enjoyed some reprieve in yesterday’s trade, the repercussions from recent events are far from over,” Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG, said.

“The EU is still threatening to introduce a package of further significant restrictive measures against Russia... This perhaps warrants some caution for some investors.” (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Lionel Laurent)

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