- The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat in morning trade after eight consecutive days of record gains
European stocks held steady on Thursday, trading just below record highs as strong earnings from a clutch of insurers and M&A activity in UK helped offset a decline in miners.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat in morning trade after eight consecutive days of record gains.
British insurer Aviva rose 1.8% after it said it would return at least 4 billion pounds ($5.5 billion) to shareholders, while Zurich Insurance Group AG added 2.2% on reporting a 60% jump in first-half business operating profit.
Dutch insurer Aegon NV jumped 6.5% on posting a much better than expected second-quarter earnings.
Dragging down miners, UK-listed shares of global miner Rio Tinto tumbled 6.1% on trading ex-dividend.
Cineworld Group rose 7.2% after it said it was considering a listing of itself or a partial listing of its movie chain Regal on Wall Street.
Stock Spirits Group jumped 42.5% funds as funds affiliated with private-equity firm CVC agreed to take over the London-listed vodka maker in a deal valuing it at 767 million pounds ($1.1 billion).