By Helen Reid
LONDON (Reuters) – Trading in European shares was hesitant early on Wednesday as investors awaited guidance from the Federal Reserve on future U.S. rate rises, while Zara owner Inditex fell 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 () edged up 0.1 percent while Germany’s DAX () and Britain’s FTSE 100 () both declined 0.2 percent.
Inditex (MC:) fell 1.5 percent, having jumped at the open after first-quarter results showed a stronger than expected margin.
Traders said investors were questioning the quality of the margin beat on the post-results conference call, as it came despite a weaker sales growth number.
Jefferies analysts also highlighted first-quarter organic growth came in below expectations.
Inditex led the IBEX lower, underperforming European peers with a 0.7 percent fall.
Tech stocks () were the best-performing, up 1.4 percent after shares in Dutch fintech firm Adyen (AS:) rocketed up 80 percent in its first day of trading.
Peers also involved with payments processing technology got a boost. Ingenico (PA:) led the way with a 4.3 percent gain, while Wirecard (DE:) also rose 2.6 percent.
Just Eat (L:) shares fell 7.2 percent to the bottom of the STOXX 600 as investors priced in heightened competition after Deliveroo said it would let restaurants use their own riders for orders placed through its app.
Dixons Carphone (L:) shares fell 3.6 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 (PA:) topped the STOXX, up 4.9 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.
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