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Market Update

European Shares Waver in Early Action

European stocks wobbled near the flat-line early Wednesday after posting sharp gains in the previous session, as investors awaited a batch of economic data.

The FTSE 100 slipped 0.1% at 8:47 a.m. London time. The CAC 40 Paris was also down 0.1% while the DAX Frankfurt gained 0.2%.

Stocks in the region rallied on Tuesday, boosted by better-than-expected German sentiment data, which hinted at growing pace of recovery in the region’s biggest economy.

Investors today, however, moved to the sidelines as they awaited further cues on the global economy. Consumer confidence data for the euro-zone was expected at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, while the Bank of England was scheduled to release minutes of its monetary policy meeting later today.

Traders were also eyeing data on housing starts and building permits due to be released in the U.S. later in the global trading day.

Stocks on the move

French building materials manufacturer Lafarge S.A. jumped 6.3% despite posting a 27% decline in full year net profit as the company reaffirmed its target to lower its debt level this year.

France Telecom was trading little changed after the company reported lower full-year net profits on account of the impairment of goodwill and assets.

Also in France, hotel group Accor SA dropped 2.6% after revealing plans to save 100 million euros over the next two years.

London-based PZ Cussons Plc. slipped 0.1% after the company sold its Polish home care brands to Henkel.

Oil giant BP Plc. moved up 0.6% amid reports that the U.S. justice department could cut  the firm’s maximum penalty under the Clean Water Act in connection with the Deepwater Horizon accident by as much as $3.5 billion.

Among banks, French lender Credit Agricole SA jumped over 3% in spite of posting a steep fourth quarter loss.

Societe Generale SA was up 0.9% while London-based Lloyd’s Banking Group added 0.8%.