Europe shares hold steady; Italian stocks dip on Renzi comments

miércoles 19 de marzo de 2014 12:27 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.02 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.2 pct

* Italian stocks trim recent sharp gains

* UK insurers hurt by budget measures

* Spain's IBEX outperforms as Inditex reassures

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, March 19 (Reuters) - European shares held steady on Wednesday, although Italian stocks fell in strong volumes as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said the European Union's budget deficit limit of 3 percent of economic output was outdated.

Shares in UK insurers also slid, hurt by government plans to scrap a requirement that pension savings be used to buy an annuity. Legal & General was down 13 percent and Aviva down 7.5 percent after UK finance minister George Osborne announced the plans as part of the UK budget.

At 1528 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.03 percent, at 1,306.34 points, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.2 percent at 3,078.78 points.

Milan's benchmark index FTSE MIB was down 0.4 percent in volumes nearly twice as much as its daily average volume, trimming recent lofty gains, with Generali, UniCredit and Telecom Italia down 0.8-1.4 percent.   Continuación...