European shares tread water as investors await U.S. cue

LONDON Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:15am GMT

LONDON Jan 22 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Tuesday, keeping within their tight range as investors awaited a cue from key U.S. earnings releases later in the day before attempting fresh push towards new 2-year highs.

European indexes struggled for direction ahead of results from U.S. bellwethers such as Google, IBM and J&J, which would provide indications on the outlook for corporates worldwide after a positive start to the U.S. earnings season.

"Everybody is looking at these numbers," Mark Priest, senior trader at ETX Capital said.

"The reporting season has been pretty successful in America and I think that's what helps keeping the market up."

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was 0.1 percent lower at 1,164.84 points at 0811 GMT, slipping away from a near-two-year high of 1,170.29 hit on Jan. 10.

Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's Dax and France's Cac all hovered around the gain line.