Eurozone recession eases in Q1
Europe's main stock markets held steady at the start of trading on Thursday, with London's benchmark FTSE 100 index up 0.04 percent at 6,696.12 points.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 eased 0.17 percent to 8,348.54 points and in Paris the CAC 40 shed 0.37 percent to 3,967.41.
European equities had advanced on Wednesday as investors shrugged off gloomy news that the eurozone recession extended to a sixth quarter.
"European stock markets are broadly flat Thursday morning, taking a breather after pouring on gains in the face of poor data from the eurozone and the US in the previous session," said ETX Capital trader Ishaq Siddiqi.
"Eurozone Q1 GDP, US industrial output and Empire State manufacturing data releases all fell short of expectations but the bulls continued to drive the market higher on expectations that central banks will continue providing stimulus."
Recession eased across the eurozone in the first quarter of 2013, official data showed, with a 0.2 percent contraction between January and March, from 0.6 percent in final quarter of 2012.
Official data also showed that France, the second biggest eurozone economy, entered recession in the first quarter.
However, share prices held up amid hopes that the poor data could trigger more stimulus measures from the European Central Bank, which cut interest rates to a record-low 0.50 percent earlier this month.