February 12, 2013 / 8:15 AM / in 5 years

European shares flat, capped by weak corporate outlooks

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - European shares were flat on Tuesday, with downbeat outlooks from firms such as Dutch navigation devices and digital map company TomTom hitting investor sentiment.

TomTom saw significant declines, off nearly 8 percent, after saying it expects a sharp drop in earnings in 2013, knocked in part by the weak state of the European car market.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was flat at 1,154.32 by 0813 GMT, after a 0.7 percent drop on Monday, having slipped around 2 percent from a two-year closing high reached on Jan. 29.

Fund managers indicated that the recent equity retreat looked more like a pause than the start of a serious correction.

“Markets have run out of steam with the short base exhausted which leaves little room for a short squeeze rally. Having said that my feeling is that the dip will be bought as people need a place to put their money,” said Lex van Dam, hedge fund manager at Hampstead Capital, which manages around $500 million assets.

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