European shares kept buoyant by data but investors remain cautious
European equities ended flat today, kept buoyant by robust data out of the US and Europe alongside strong earnings, though some investors were cautious ahead of a US Federal Reserve policy announcement.
The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed at 1,205.72 points, with drinks group AB Inbev leading the gainers, up 6.9pc, after unveiling higher profits.
Equity markets found some support from data indicating US economic growth accelerated unexpectedly in the second quarter and a separate report showing US private employers maintained a higher pace of hiring in July.
This added to a brightening economic picture in the euro zone, where the number of people unemployed fell for the first time in more than two years in June.
"Multiples may be broadly fair value but if the economic environment continues to improve... then it's very difficult to see what's going to derail the equity markets over the short to medium term," Neil Veitch, investment manager at SVM Asset Management, said.
Despite the market remaining buoyant, investors have been strongly buying protection ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy announcement, expected to shed light on the outlook for the central bank's quantitative easing programme.