June 2, 2016 / 7:27 AM / 2 years ago

European shares steady ahead of ECB; Voestalpine shines

(ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report for more details)

MILAN, June 2 (Reuters) - European shares were steady on Thursday, with investors likley to avoid taking large positions ahead of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) policy meeting later in the day.

The pan-European STOXX 600 and FTSEurofirst 300 indexes were both up 0.1 percent in early trading, having both fallen around 1 percent in the previous session.

The ECB is expected to keep interest rates firmly on hold but will probably raise growth and inflation forecasts.

Austria’s Voestalpine rose more than 5 percent, making it the biggest gainer on the STOXX index, on the back of a higher-than-expected full-year net profit.

The biggest faller was defence contractor Cobham, slumping 16.4 percent after announcing plans this week to raise 507 million pounds via a rights issue.

Today’s European research round-up

ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development). In a real-time, multimedia format from 0600 London time through the 1630 closing bell, it will include the best of our market reporting, Stocks Buzz service, Eikon graphics, Reuters pictures, eye-catching research and market zeitgeist. Breaking news and dramatic market moves will continue to be alerted to all clients and we will continue to provide a short opening story and comprehensive closing reports.

If you have any thoughts, suggestions or feedback on this, please email mike.dolan@thomsonreuters.com.

Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA.

Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Sudip Kar-GUpta

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