January 4, 2017 / 9:46 AM / 8 months ago

European retail stocks in the spotlight in quiet European open

A trader sits in front of the computer screens at his desk at the Frankfurt stock exchange, Germany, June 29, 2015.Ralph Orlowski/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares steadied on Wednesday with retailers in focus after contrasting updates from Next and B&M European Value Retail.

The STOXX 600 was little changed steadying after three straight sessions of gains.

UK retailer Next was the stand-out laggard, down 14 percent after warning on profits. The stock has lost nearly 40 percent over the past year.

The move dragged down other high street retailers with UK exposure. Marks & Spencer dropped 5.3 percent, while Primark owner Associated British Foods fell 4.9 percent.

The exception was B&M. The variety retailer was the top STOXX 600 riser, up 4.1 percent, after saying it had reported record Christmas trading.

In financials, Credit Suisse shares were up 2.5 percent and in sight of hitting their highest levels in a year following an upgrade at Barclays.

Reporting by Alistair Smout, Editing by Vikram Subhedar

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