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Market Update

Europe Tracks Asia Down


European stocks opened lower Monday tracking weakness in their Asian counterparts after disappointing data from China undermined confidence.

Data released earlier in the day showed economic growth in the world's second largest economy continued to slow down in the previous quarter.

Official reports showed China's GDP grew 7.7% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, down from 7.8% in the previous quarter.

The FTSE 100 was flat at 8:52 a.m., the CAC 40 Paris eased 0.1% and the DAX Frankfurt lost 0.4%.

Stocks on the Move

Financial stocks were under pressure across the region. Deutsche Bank AG tumbled 3.5% after reporting an unexpected pretax loss for the fourth quarter amid charges for valuation adjustments and litigation costs. Commerzbank AG eroded 2.3%.

French lenders BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA were down 0.3% and 0.8% respectively.

In London, Barclays Plc erased 1.2% while global banking giant HSBC Holdings Plc. moved 0.5% down.

Among miners, BHP Billiton Plc. and Rio Tinto slipped around 0.3% each but Anglo American Plc. and Glencore Xstrata Plc. were up around 0.4% each.

In corporate news, French car maker Peugeot SA reportedly approved a broad outline of a potential capital injection of 3 billion euros to reshape the company's ownership. Shares of the car giant were down over 5% in reaction to the news.

Meanwhile, private-equity firms KKR & Co. and Affinity Equity Partners said they would sell South Korea's Oriental Brewery back to beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev SA for $5.8 billion. Shares of the brewer were up 0.8% as investors cheered one of the biggest private-equity transactions in Asia in recent years.

London-listed shares of Royal Dutch Shell retreated 1% after the company along with PetroChina said it was considering job cuts to contain costs at their joint venture in eastern Australia.

Gazala Parveen does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.