Strong earnings buoy European shares against mixed GDP data

jueves 15 de mayo de 2014 04:32 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 flat after setting 6-year highs

* Dax hits all-time high

* Strong results from Richemont, Aegon, H&M help support sentiment

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - European stocks turned flat as upbeat corporate earnings from blue chips such as jeweller Richemont contrasted with mixed GDP figures.

Traders were looking to euro zone GDP and inflation figures, both due at 0900 GMT, to gauge the odds of more monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank. The prospect of ECB action has lifted stocks in the past week.

Insurers Aegon, clothing retailer H&M and jeweller Richemont traded from 2.4 percent to 4.7 percent higher after releasing their results.

"Results will provide support, but the focus today is on the economic data," Mike Reuter, a broker at Tradition said. A weaker euro zone GDP reading could be seen as creating room for fresh stimulus in June, supporting stocks, he said.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was flat at 1,368.06 points at 0820 GMT after reaching a fresh six-year high at 1,372.81 points earlier in the session. Germany's Dax was also flat after hitting an all-time high at 9,810.29 points.   Continuación...