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European stocks wobble on poor Chinese data


Europe's main stock markets wobbled in choppy trading on Monday, as dealers balanced downbeat Chinese economic data against earlier gains in Asia, dealers said.

In late morning deals, London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares edged down 0.01 percent to stand at 6,411.57 points.

In Paris the CAC 40 index dipped 0.02 percent to 3,871.65 points, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.87 percent to 8,326.88 to reverse earlier losses.

The European single currency eased to $1.3214 from $1.3216 late in New York on Friday.

"There is clear market indecision seen throughout the global markets today, with European markets opening lower, yet paring much of those losses throughout the morning," said analyst Joshua Mahony at trading firm Alpari.

"The volatility and uncertainty surrounding global equity and foreign exchange markets have been a noticeable feature during recent weeks as confidence in the strength of growth and recovery within the likes of Japan and China have come into question."

European equities had posted sharp gains on Friday as traders welcomed modest US job creation data.

"After last week finished on a bit of a high, the optimism over US solid job creation is being overshadowed by the disappointing data from China, where most of the indictors missed the analysts' estimates," added trader Anita Paluch at Gekko Markets.

"The anxiety of the future of the growth in the world's second-largest economy is weighting on the sentiment today, and the relatively empty economic calendar in both Europe and America will rather not provide any significant inspiring signals."

Weak Chinese trade data fanned to concerns of a slowdown in the world's number two economy.

On Saturday, Beijing reported a sharp slowdown in exports in May from April, while imports unexpectedly dropped owing to weakness in the domestic economy and sluggish demand overseas.

Official data meanwhile showed industrial production, which measures output at the country's factories and mines, rose at a slower pace than during the previous month while fixed asset investment also came in below expectations.

The news dented the metals and mining sector on Monday because China is a major consumer of raw materials.

In London, the price of shares in global miner Anglo American sank by 3.86 percent to 1,406.5 pence, while Antofagasta slid 1.79 percent to 905.5 pence.

In Paris, shares in steel giant ArcelorMittal shed 0.55 percent to 9.448 euros.

Despite the poor Chinese data, Asian equities rose on Monday partly on the back of upwardly-revised Japanese economic growth figures.

Tokyo rallied 4.94 percent to 13,514.20 points as the dollar clawed back some of last week's losses against the yen.

Revised data showed that Japan's economy grew more than expected in the first three months of the year, expanding at an annualised rate of 4.1 percent, up from 3.5 percent.

"The rise of the Nikkei overnight was in part due to the improvement seen in GDP figures released early into the Asian session, pointing to better than expected growth for the region," added Mahony.

Elsewhere in Asia, the Seoul market added 0.46 percent and Hong Kong ended up 0.18 percent. Shanghai and Sydney were closed for public holidays.

In trading on the London Bullion Market on Monday, the price of gold fell to $1,377.56 an ounce from $1,386 on Friday.