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European shares dip after weak China growth figures

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.19%, with most sectors and major bourses in the red while London’s FTSE 250 Index closed the day’s session 0.01% lower.

Shares in Europe dipped on Monday after latest economic numbers released from China showed the world’s second-largest economy growing its weakest in 28 years for last year.

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.19% or 0.69 points, at 356.36, with most sectors and major bourses in the red while London’s FTSE 250 Index closed the day’s session 0.01% or 1.64 points lower, at 18,762.83.

Germany’s exporter-heavy DAX Performance Index dropped 0.62% or 69.34 points, at 11,136.20 while the French CAC 40 lost around 8 points, at 4,867.

The FTSE 100 bucked the trend to inch up slightly at the close, up by 0.03% or 2.26 points, at 6,970.59.

Telecommunication shares slumped for the first trading day of the week, dragged down by France’s Orange and Italy’s Telecom Italia. Telecom Italia’s share price fell after news of its plan to spin off its landline network was rejected by regulators while Orange had disputed claims that it was bidding for its competitor which sent the stock lower.

Meanwhile, online food delivery company Just Eat’s shares also fell but managed to pare back its losses by the close. The firm’s CEO was said to have stepped down just 16 months after joining the company.

China’s weak growth data a drag to markets as investors worry

Last year, China’s economy grew by 6.6%, matching estimates, but the annual growth was still the weakest since 1990. For the fourth quarter, growth came in at the slowest pace since the global financial crisis.

The weakness in the Chinese economy comes at a problematic time as the country is facing a trade battle with the United States (US).

President Xi Jinping’s top economic advisor Liu He will be heading to the US around the end of this month for another round of trade talks between the two nations.

China needs to resolve the trade talks more than the US right now to boost its sluggish growth, fallen exports, and weakened factory sentiment.

Brexit woes continue

UK prime minister Theresa continued to reject calls for a second referendum and unveiled her ‘Brexit Plan B’ on Monday, which to many observers looked like the original plan.

The new plan shows a restatement of Mrs May’s Plan A with some reassurances to indicate that the Northern Ireland issue will be resolved, at some point.

The country has 67 more days to go until Britain is due to leave the EU.

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