European shares weighed by weaker autos; Taylor Wimpey, Vodafone rise
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* FTSEurofirst 300 steadies after touching two-week highs
* Fiat Chrysler leads auto sector lower after downgrade
* Taylor Wimpey, Vodafone surge after update
By Atul Prakash and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, May 17 (Reuters) - European shares steadied on Tuesday with gains companies such as Taylor Wimpey and Vodafone following encouraging updates offset by a weaker auto sector.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was little changed by 1245 GMT after earlier rising to its highest since early May. The index, which closed flat in the previous session, is still down 8.5 percent this year.
Taylor Wimpey advanced 4.8 percent after the housebuilder announced a new special payout, promising investors about 1.3 billion pounds over three years, underpinned by strong demand for property in the UK.
Vodafone was up 2 percent after the world's second-largest mobile phone operator said its earnings growth would accelerate this year. The group said a programme to improve its networks had boosted demand in Europe and helped it to return to underlying growth in 2016 revenue and core earnings for the first time since 2008. Continuación...