LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - European stocks were expected to be steady at the open on Friday, helped by signs that jitters in the bond market this week were starting to ease off.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open between 1 point higher and 4 points lower, or flat in percentage terms. Germany's DAX was expected to open up between 5-10 points, or 0.1 percent higher, while France's CAC 40 was seen opening flat.
A pick-up this week in benchmark German and U.S. bond yields had made equities look more expensive compared with debt. Some investors trimmed equity positions to cash in on the earlier stock market rally.
But fears over the bond sell-off seemed to recede on Thursday as the rest of the broader European stock market also recovered, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index finishing 0.7 percent higher.
"The sell-off in bond markets does appear to be slowing following what was quite a dramatic decline in a very short period of time. This was especially surprising considering the European Central Bank is taking the other side of that trade which usually piles downward pressure on yields but it appears that in a low liquidity and highly anxious market, the central bank has met its max," said Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam. > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares edge down but poised for weekly rise > US STOCKS-S&P 500 ends at record high as dollar loses ground > > TREASURIES-Yields fall as supply eases; German debt steadies > FOREX-Dollar still on the defensive after tough week, economic data eyed > PRECIOUS-Gold near 3-mth high; eyes weekly gain on U.S. rate expectations > METALS-London copper set to close flat for second week > Oil heads for weekly gain, shrugs off ample supply; US output eyed (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)