European shares steady as sanctions risk mutes earnings optimism
* FTSEurofirst 300 index little changed
* GKN, Next advance after earnings reports
* Caution on concerns of more sanctions against Russia
By Atul Prakash
July 29 (Reuters) - European shares steadied on Tuesday, with earnings reports from companies such as British engineer GKN offset by the threat to the region's economy from any more sanctions against Russia by the West.
GKN surged 7 percent after its car parts supply division boosted first-half profits, while clothing retailer Next gained 2.6 percent after raising its guidance for annual sales and profit. Telecom firm Orange rose was up 0.3 percent after results.
According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, 32 percent of companies in the STOXX Europe 600 index have reported second-quarter results so far, of which 60 percent have met or beaten market expectations.
"Going forward, the earnings season should be decent and I expect more surprises on the upside than on the downside. The economy generally appears to be a lot stronger," Peter Dixon, equity strategist at Commerzbank, said.
"It would be a very positive market environment. However, we do appear to be sailing into some geopolitical headwinds that might increase volatility in the coming weeks and months." Continuación...