LONDON: Trading in European shares was hesitant on Wednesday as investors awaited guidance from the Federal Reserve on future US interest rate rises, while Inditex rose after results and Just Eat was bruised by intensifying competition.
Benchmarks barely budged, with all the action at the stock level. The pan-European STOXX 600 ended up 0.2 percent while Germany’s DAX added 0.4 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 ended flat.
Just Eat fell 4.7 percent as investors priced in heightened competition after rival Deliveroo said it would let restaurants use their own riders for orders placed through its app.
Inditex rose 3.5 percent after the world’s biggest clothing retailer reported improved first-quarter profitability despite the dampening impact of a strong euro.
Shares in the owner of fashion brand Zara had opened lower on profit taking and concerns around the quality of its results but later recovered with traders citing strong sales of its summer collections.
Tech stocks were the best-performing, up 1.7 percent after shares in Dutch fintech firm Adyen rocketed up 90 percent in its first day of trading following an initial public offering.
Peers also involved with payments processing technology got a boost. Ingenico led the way with a 6.7 percent gain, while Wirecard also rose 3.7 percent.
Dixons Carphone shares fell 2.7 percent after the company announced a data breach in which 1.2 million records of non-financial personal information had been accessed.
Paris airports operator ADP rose 6 percent after the government said it would prepare the legal ground for a sale of some of its corporate assets.
Overall European equities have been searching for direction and are around flat for the year so far.
“I would expect a lateral, flat market from now through the summer with some rotation,” said Angelo Meda, head of equities at Banor SIM.
“Cyclicals have been the best year to date so I would expect some recovery from the staples.”
In regional benchmarks, Italy maintained its outperformance with a 0.4 percent gain after the country’s new EU affairs minister Paolo Savona said the euro was “indispensable”.
“Now we are seeing that all the interviews made by politicians are going in the right direction,” said Meda.