European shares flat; techs gain on Google results

* FTSEurofirst 300 flat in early trade

* Technology shares gain after Google results

* Markets await Bernanke speech, U.S. data

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]

By Harpreet Bhal

LONDON, Oct 15 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares were flat on
Friday morning, with technology shares boosted by upbeat results
from U.S. peer Google (GOOG.O: ), offsetting falls in heavyweight
miners as metals prices eased from earlier highs.

By 0839 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: )
index was flat at 1,085.04 points, after closing 0.2 percent
lower on Thursday.

Strong quarterly results from Google and U.S. chipmaker
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.N: ) helped European technology stocks
rise, with ASML Holding (ASML.AS: ), Infineon (IFXGn.DE: ) and
STMicroelectronics (STM.PA: ) up 1 percent to 1.5 percent.
[ID:nN14187391] [ID:nN14149178]

Some caution, however, was expected ahead of a speech by the
U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, which could provide
clues on what officials are planning to do to support the
economy. [ID:nN14141178]

“Sentiment after hours is pretty good after those numbers
(from Google). Investors will take the Google numbers well but
with some caution and look ahead to Bernanke and U.S. data due
later this afternoon,” said Giles Watts, head of equities at
City Index.

Speculation in recent weeks the Fed will embark on further
quantitative easing measures to spur the recovery has helped
boost sentiment in the equity market while keeping the dollar
under pressure across the board.

“What Bernanke might do is he could confirm this idea that
the economy has lost momentum … and he might just go a stage
further by trying to identify the mechanics of what they (the
Fed) might do, ” said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin
Dolphin, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin.

A fall in heavyweight mining shares, however, put some
pressure on equity indexes, as metals prices retreated from
earlier highs as investors unwound some dollar-long commodity
positions.

Kazakhmys (KAZ.L: ), Xstrata (XTA.L: ) and Vedanta Resources
(VED.L: ) shed 0.3 to 0.8 percent.

China’s Sinochem Corp will not launch a counterbid for
Potash Corp (POT.TO: ), sources told Reuters, abandoning efforts
to spoil BHP Billiton’s (BLT.L: ) $39 billion bid for the Canadian
fertilizer maker. BHP Billiton was 0.8 percent lower.

BULLISH TECHNICALS

Still, technical charts indicated a bullish trend for
equities, with the Euro STOXX 50 (.STOXX50E: ) staying above a key
resistance of 2,740.32, its 61.8 percent retracement of an April
high to a May low for the third day in a row.

The index’s 50-day moving average, now at 2,741.69, moved
closer to the 200-day moving average at 2,763.35, raising
prospects that the 50-day average might cross the 200-day
average — signaling an uptrend for equities.

Investors are likely to focus on key economic data due from
across the Atlantic later in the session, including U.S. CPI and
retail sales figures for September at 1230 GMT and the
Reuters/University of Michigan consumer confidence numbers at
1355 GMT.

Among individual movers, Old Mutual (OML.L: ) lost 3.9
percent after the Financial Times reported HSBC (HSBA.L: ) could
drop out from an $8 billion bid for South Africa’s Nedbank
(NEDJ.J: ), in which Old Mutual holds a 52 percent stake.
[ID:nLDE69D2H2]

Carrefour (CARR.PA: ) fell 3.7 percent after Europe’s biggest
retailer trimmed its 2010 profit forecast because of higher
charges at its Brazilian business, offsetting a stronger than
expected rise in third-quarter sales. [ID:nLDE69D1A3]
(Editing by Hans Peters)

European shares flat; techs gain on Google results