Euro zone growth scare weighs on European shares

jueves 14 de agosto de 2014 07:32 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300, Euro STOXX 50 both up 0.3 pct

* Putin's comments help market pare losses

* Equity risk premium well above long-term average -ING IM

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Aug 14 (Reuters) - European stocks inched higher around midday on Thursday, adding to this week's tentative rebound, although weaker-than expected economic output data from Germany and France limited the gains.

By 1100 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was 0.3 percent higher at 1,330.21 points, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was also up 0.3 percent at 3,066.83 points.

Indexes pared early losses and turned positive following comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin who said Russians don't need conflict with the outside world.

"We must calmly, with dignity and effectively build up our country, not fence it off from the outside world," Putin said during a visit to Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in March. "We need to consolidate and mobilise but not for war or any kind of confrontation ... for hard work in the name of Russia."

European stocks have tumbled in the past few weeks, with the FTSEurofirst 300 down 5 percent since late June, knocked lower by fears of an escalation of the Ukrainian crisis and tensions between the West and Moscow.   Continuación...