European shares trim most losses on U.S. data, Yellen
* FTSEurofirst 300 index closes 0.2 percent lower
* Volatility index up 6.1 pct, indicates risk aversion
* Royal Bank of Scotland falls after posting losses
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - European equities pared most of their early losses late on Thursday, with better-than-expected U.S. durable goods data and comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen prompting some investors to return to the market.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index, which fell 1.0 percent earlier in the day on poor company news and Ukraine tensions, ended 0.2 percent lower at 1,345.46 points. It was helped by data showing orders for U.S. manufactured goods excluding transportation unexpectedly rose last month.
Although Yellen's comments before a Senate Banking Committee did not indicate that the central bank could lower the pace of its stimulus reduction, investors felt some relief that there were no negative surprises, analysts said.
"Comments from Yellen indicate that there has been soft data recently in the U.S. and that has necessarily required consideration of reduced tapering. That does not mean that we expect the tapering to be changed, but her tone was distinctly dovish today," said Lorne Baring, managing director of B Capital Wealth Management in Geneva.
"Markets are showing some relief that monetary policy may remain loose and that the Fed is clearly taking a pragmatic view quarter by quarter." Continuación...