4 de junio de 2014 / 8:08 / en 4 años

European shares steady; all eyes on ECB

* FTSEurofirst 300 flat, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.03 pct

* Wait-and-see mode ahead of ECB meeting

* New ECB measures seen as priced in already

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) - European shares were steady in early trade on Wednesday ahead of key macro data for the euro zone as well as expected measures from the European Central Bank to support the region’s economic recovery.

At 0737 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was flat at 1,374.60 points, hovering below a 6-1/2-year high hit on Monday.

“Indexes are stalled in Europe. Low volumes, no selling pressure, and buyers are in a wait-and-see mode,” Aurel BGC chartist Gerard Sagnier said.

Investors awaited an updated figure for the euro zone’s first-quarter GDP, as well as service PMIs, which could shed light on the European Central Bank’s next move.

At its meeting on Thursday, the ECB is widely expected to trim its refinancing rate, send its deposit rate into negative territory and launch a long-term refinancing operation (LTRO) targeted at businesses.

Despite recent economic data pointing to a slower-than-expected recovery for the euro zone, European stocks have been supported by the prospect of fresh intervention from the ECB, with Germany’s DAX hitting a record high earlier this week.

Euro zone peripheral markets have also been rallying on hopes of further measures from the central bank, with Milan’s FTSE MIB index up 14 percent year-to-date and Madrid’s IBEX up 9 percent.

“The risk is that we get a ‘buy the rumour, sell the news’ move on the market ... European stocks’ hefty valuation levels should prompt fund managers to book profits,” Banque Leonardo strategist Francois Chevallier wrote in a note.

Shares in Tesco rose 1 percent after Britain’s biggest retailer posted a fall in sales that traders said was smaller than some had feared.

Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Toby Chopra)

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