European stocks slide on Asia fears


European stock markets have fallen after a fresh slide in Tokyo on poorly-received Chinese economic data, analysts say.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares on Monday dropped 0.40 per cent to stand at 6,556.88 points in late morning deals. Frankfurt's DAX 30 index slid 0.69 per cent to 8,291.14 points and in Paris the CAC 40 retreated 0.53 per cent to 3,927.74.

"Poor manufacturing numbers out of China and Australia together with another day of hefty losses for the Japanese market combine to weigh on investor sentiment in Europe," said Ishaq Siddiqi, market strategist at ETX Capital traders.

"Friday's late-selloff on Wall Street set the tone for weakness in Asian trade overnight, feeding into the European market open. Better than expected data out of the US on Friday refuelled fears the US Fed will unwind asset purchases in forthcoming months," he added.

The euro rose to $1.3020 from $1.2996 late in New York on Friday.

The dollar fell to ¥100.26 from ¥100.37 on Friday.

On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold climbed to $1,397.10 an ounce from $1,394.50 on Friday.

Asian equity markets ended lower on Monday, with Tokyo plunging 3.72 per cent to a six-week low after downbeat Chinese manufacturing data and a sharp drop on Wall Street last week, traders said.

HSBC bank said Chinese manufacturing activity fell to an eight-month low in May. The lender's final purchasing managers' index (PMI) reading for May came in at 49.2, worse than the preliminary 49.6 announced on May 23.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

The result was in sharp contrast to the Chinese government's PMI result for May, which came in at 50.8, better than April's 50.6, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday.

US stocks tumbled Friday, accelerating their losses after a flurry of mixed indicators sparked volatile trade, with consumer spending down but shoppers' confidence climbing.

Eyes were also turning towards a series of key US economic statistics due later in the week, and policy meetings of the European Central Bank and Bank of England.

The car sector was meanwhile in focus as data on Monday revealed that new car registrations in France, a key indicator of the country's economic health, dropped sharply in May, with Renault and Citroen the worst affected.

A total of 148,554 new cars were registered last month, a 10.3-per cent drop compared with the same period in 2012, according to statistics published by France's industry group for auto makers, CCFA.

Renault shares were down 0.55 per cent at €59.43 in midday Paris trading.