L'Oreal's surge helps keep European shares steady

lunes 10 de febrero de 2014 08:27 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 off 0.1 pct

* L'Oreal jumps on buyback hopes

* Analysts bullish on Euro STOXX 50

By Tricia Wright

LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) - European shares traded flat on Monday, as cosmetics maker L'Oreal gained on expectations it will buy back its shares owned by Nestle and helped to keep the market steady after its recent gains.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.1 percent at 1,299.30 points by 1156 GMT, having risen in the previous three sessions. Helping to prop up the index was L'Oreal, which surged 4.7 percent in massive volumes.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Nestle has told L'Oreal of its intentions to sell its 30 percent stake and the two companies have discussed the issue with banks.

"While it became clearer recently that the likely outcome of the situation would be a buyback by L'Oreal of Nestle's stake, it's the first time we hear that Nestle would have officially decided to sell its stake, so we read this news as a small positive," a Paris-based trader said.

The trading volume on L'Oreal shares represented nearly twice their daily average volume of the past three months, against the FTSEurofirst 300 at just a third.   Continuación...