European shares close flat, miners slip
* FTSEurofirst 300 index ends flat after losses
* Miners slip on disappointing Chinese factory data
* Randstad slumps, warns of only gradual improvement
* BAE Systems slips after warning on earnings
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - European shares recouped early losses to end flat on Thursday, helped by a rally in U.S. equities after strong manufacturing data, but sentiment remained fragile and miners slipped on disappointing data from China.
Shares on Wall Street rose 0.4 to 0.6 percent after February data showed U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated at its fastest pace in nearly four years, prompting investors in Europe to snap beaten-down stocks in late trade.
But overall sentiment remained jittery following poor data from China, France and the U.S. mid-Atlantic region. Investors were also rattled by the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting indicating the central bank might keep trimming its stimulus.
The European basic resources index fell 1.1 percent to the bottom of sectoral losers after China's flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a seven-month low of 48.3 in February, suggesting a manufacturing contraction in China, the world's top metals consumer. Continuación...