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China’s growth slowdown

London: Europe's main stock markets turned in a mixed, lacklustre performance on Monday with Wall Street closed for a holiday and China turning in disappointing growth data.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day up 0.11 per cent at 6,836.73 points, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 slid 0.28 per cent to 9,715.9 points and the CAC 40 in Paris dipped 0.11 per cent to 4,322.86 points.

 “European markets have continued where they left off at the end of last week drifting sideways, but with a slight downward bias in fairly listless trade in the absence of US markets” which were closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, said market analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets UK.

He said the upside was “capped due to a negative Asia session after Chinese economic data failed to inspire, while Deutsche Bank followed in the footsteps of some of its US peers last week by disappointing the markets, by releasing a profits warning over the weekend.”

China's economy last year registered flat growth of 7.7 per cent, maintaining its slowest expansion in more than a decade as the government warned Monday of “deep-rooted problems” including a mountain of local authority debt.

“The latest Chinese economic data published this morning showed that real GDP growth slowed to 7.7 per cent … though many policymakers, especially in the semi-depressed eurozone, would be over-joyed to have such growth rates,” noted Neil MacKinnon, economist at financial group VTB Capital.

The news dragged down other major banks in Europe, with Commerzbank dropping 4.5 per cent to 12.94 euros, Barclays down 2.0 per cent to 282.8 pence, Royal Bank of Scotland shedding 1.3 per cent to 359 pence, Unicredit losing 1.3 per cent to 5.91 euros and Societe Generale giving up 1.0 per cent to 44.40 euros.

Meanwhile, shares in troubled French carmaker Peugeot Citroen tumbled 11.1 per cent to 10.21 euros after the company approved in principle a capital increase that will bring in Chinese automaker Dongfeng and the French state as major shareholders.

The euro edged up to 82.57 pence from 82.44 pence on Friday, while the pound rose to $1.6423 from $1.6414.

Gold prices gained to $1,255.75 an ounce from $1,250 Friday on the London Bullion Market.

Source: Reuters

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