European shares flat as euro zone recovery slows, ECB looms

miércoles 4 de junio de 2014 13:28 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 flat, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.1 pct

* Wait-and-see mode ahead of ECB meeting

* New ECB measures seen as priced in already

* Holcim, Lafarge rally on private-equity bid report (Updates prices)

By Lionel Laurent and Blaise Robinson

LONDON/PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) - European shares held steady 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, 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 closed flat at 1,374.75 points, hovering below a 6-1/2-year high hit on Monday.

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