European shares slip as euro zone recovery slows, ECB looms

miércoles 4 de junio de 2014 07:27 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.1 pct

* Wait-and-see mode ahead of ECB meeting

* New ECB measures seen as priced in already

By Lionel Laurent and Blaise Robinson

LONDON/PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) - European shares inched down on Wednesday after data confirmed a slowdown in the euro zone's economic recovery in the first quarter, with investors awaiting fresh action by the European Central Bank to spur growth.

The 18-nation bloc's economy expanded by just 0.2 percent in the three months to March, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said, cementing investor expectations for the ECB to trim its refinancing rate, send its deposit rate into negative territory and launch a cheap-lending initiative targeted at businesses.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,372.67 points as of 1007 GMT, hovering below a 6-1/2-year high hit on Monday.

Hopes for ECB intervention have supported share prices in recent months, often leading to a contrarian investor response to weak data, although some traders said there was a growing risk of a pullback after the central bank's meeting on Thursday.

"No-one's really eager to make any aggressive moves ahead of tomorrow," said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.   Continuación...