1. European shares fall sharply as weak China data hits markets

European shares fall sharply as weak China data hits markets

European shares fell sharply on Monday, the first day of trading for 2016, as weak Chinese economic data weighed on world stock markets.

By: | London | Updated: January 4, 2016 6:13 PM
The weak data caused Chinese and Asian shares to slump. (Reuters)

The weak data caused Chinese and Asian shares to slump. (Reuters)

European shares fell sharply on Monday, the first day of trading for 2016, as weak Chinese economic data weighed on world stock markets.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 2.3 percent, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index  declined by 2.6 percent.

China’s factory activity contracted for the 10th straight month in December and at a sharper pace than in November, a private survey showed, dampening hopes that the world’s second-largest economy will enter 2016 on a more stable footing.

, with China’s benchmark CSI300 share index tumbling 7 percent on Monday, prompting the stock exchange to halt trading for the rest of the day.

Shares in carmaker Fiat Chrysler fell after the spin-off of its Ferrari division, but French conglomerate Bouygues outperformed to rise 1.3 percent after a media report that Orange was moving closer to buying Bouygues’ telecoms arm for 10 billion euros ($10.86 billion).

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