Investing.com - European stocks opened lower on Monday, tracking their Asian counterparts after data showed that growth in China continued to slow in the last quarter.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.23%, France's CAC 40 edged down 0.11%, while Germany's DAX 30 slid 0.46%.
A report earlier showed that China's economy grew 7.7% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, slowing from 7.8% in the previous quarter, but still above the 7.6% forecast by economists.
Meanwhile, a string of positive U.S. data last week indicated that while the recovery in the U.S. remains uneven, the economic outlook is continuing to improve, adding to expectations for the Federal Reserve to continue tapering its stimulus program.
Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale tumbled 1.14% and 1.23%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank plunged 4.04% after saying it posted a surprise pre-tax loss of EUR1.153 billion for the fourth quarter.
Among peripheral lenders, Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA dropped 0.44% and 0.73% respectively, while Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit declined 0.64% and 0.71%.
Elsewhere, Peugeot Citroen saw shares dive 8.19%, weighed by a 4.9% decline in annual unit sales and reports on its EUR3 billion capital increase.
On the upside, Anheuser-Busch InBev gained 0.63% after agreeing to pay USD5.8 billion to buy back South Korea's Oriental Brewery.
In London, FTSE 100 eased 0.06%, as U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts lower.
Shares in Lloyds Banking slipped 0.14% and HSBC Holdings retreated 0.48%, while Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland tumbled 0.94% and 1.29% respectively.
Mining stocks were also broadly higher. Glencore Xstrata slid 0.25% and BHP Billiton dropped 0.87%, while Rio Tinto and Vedanta Resources declined 0.86% and 0.71%.
Meanwhile, shares in Rolls-Royce were little changed, down 0.01%, after the Financial Times reported that the U.K. Serious Fraud Office received additional funding from the country's Treasury to continue its probe of alleged bribery and corruption by the luxury automaker in China and Indonesia.
In the U.S., markets were to remain closed for the Martin Luther King Day holiday.
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