European stocks fall after China’s export slump; Pandora shares down 6%

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European stocks open lower after China’s export slump rattles markets

European markets were lower on Monday morning, after a shock contraction in Chinese exports heightened fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down around 0.5 percent during early morning deals, with all sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

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Europe's construction and material stocks were the worst performers shortly after the opening bell, down almost 1 percent. It comes after official data from China on Monday showed imports fell 7.6 percent year-on-year in December, while analysts had anticipated a 5 percent rise.

Meanwhile, China's exports unexpectedly dropped 4.4 percent, defying projections of a 3 percent gain. The news appeared to reinforce worries that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods were starting to take a heavy toll on China's cooling economy.

Looking at individual stocks, Denmark's Pandora slumped to the bottom of the European benchmark, after Morgan Stanley slashed its price target for the company. The Copenhagen-listed stock slipped almost 7 percent on Monday morning.

Elsewhere, Britain's Burberry rose to the top of the index after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its stock recommendation to "neutral" from "underperform." Shares of the luxury stock were up over 2 percent on the news.

Brexit

Market focus is largely attuned to weaker-than-expected economic data from China, amid escalating fears of a sharper-than-expected slowdown in global growth and corporate profits.

In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, slipped around 1 percent on Monday.

Back in Europe, Brexit remains in the spotlight for market participants. That's because British lawmakers are poised to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's much maligned Brexit deal on Tuesday.

Remarkably, May's template to exit the bloc faces virtually certain defeat.

That leaves the prospect of a complete collapse of government, a disorderly exit from the bloc or even the entire Brexit process being scrapped altogether over the coming weeks.

On the data front, investors are also likely to closely monitor the latest year-on-year industrial production figures for the euro area at around 10:00 a.m. London time.

Original Article

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