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European shares hit by weak growth data

Feb 14 2013 18:55
London - European shares ended lower on Thursday after investor sentiment was hit by weak regional growth data, although a bounce off technical support and some solid US data helped indexes close off their lows.

The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed down 1.39 points at 1 164.22, hovering 12 points off 2-year highs, while a leading euro zone blue-chip index closed down 0.7% at 2 638.07.

European shares weakened after data showed the euro zone economy shrank 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2012, but pared losses late on after bullish jobs data in the US sparked a recovery on Wall Street.

Wall Street edged back towards 5-year highs, while in Europe the Euro STOXX 50 found strong support at 2 600 both from prior peaks and the uptrend line from its 2012 low.

"Mixed economic data created uncertainty and we have had a lot of uptrends extending so it is only natural to see a little bit of caution, but there is some solid support preventing a sharper retracement" Dominic Hawker, technical strategist at Messels, said.

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