(Sharecast News) – European stock markets were lower at midday after last week’s strong run as data from China showed the world’s second largest economy was growing at an anaemic pace.
The pan-regional Stoxx 600 index was down 0.57% in early deals, after gaining 2.94% last week. All major bourses were in the red.
China’s second quarter gross domestic product came in at 6.3%, lower than the 7.1 – 7.3% economists expected.
The print for the second quarter marked a 0.8% pace of growth from the first quarter and was well behind the 7.3% increase in second quarter GDP forecast by analysts..
National Bureau of Statistics spokesperson Fu Linghui said the country could still achieve its full-year growth target of around 5% growth for 2023.
In other data, retail sales for June rose by 3.1%, slightly below the 3.2% expected, and industrial production for June rose by 4.4% from a year ago, better than the 2.7% forecast.
Fixed asset investment for the first half of the year rose 3.8%, better than the 3.5% predicted. Investment into real estate fell further on a year-to-date basis in June than in May. Investment in manufacturing grew at a steady pace, while growth in infrastructure investment slowed.
“The sheer scale of China’s economy means a perceived stalling in the post-pandemic recovery has ramifications for global demand and economies,” said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Sophie Lund-Yates.
In equity news, fish producer Bakkafrost slumped after issuing a profit warning with second quarter, citing “extraordinarily low” harvest volumes in the Faroe Islands, and issues in its Scottish farms.
Shares in luxury group Richemont fell almost 7% after the company reported a 14% increase in first- quarter sales, boosted by a strong rebound in Asia and demand for its high-end jewellery but pointed to a downturn in the Americas.
Argenx surged after the Belgian drugmaker said its Vyvgart antibody treatment significantly delayed the progression of an autoimmune nerve disorder that causes people to lose feeling and muscle strength in their arms and legs.
Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com