Global stock markets falter after China data confirms economic slowdown
LONDON: European shares fell on Monday from six-week highs as a slowdown in China’s economy stalled a global equity rally, but sterling rallied to the day’s highs after Prime Minister Theresa May promised to be more “flexible” with lawmakers over Brexit.
Trade in general was subdued with U.S. markets closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day but equity prices were hit after data showed the Chinese economy, the world’s second biggest, grew 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, matching levels last seen in early 2009 during the global financial crisis.
The number was in line with forecasts, while factory output picked up stronger-than-expected in December and stronger services sector were some bright spots. That, along with expectations of more stimulus from Beijing, pushed Asian markets to the highest since early-December