Europe closes on the flatline, miners rally – CNBC

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The lower open comes after data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics on Saturday showed that investment, factory output and retail sales all grew more slowly than expected in April, raising concern over the health of the world’s second-largest economy.

Factory output slowed to 6 percent in April, missing expectations of a 6.5 percent rise.

“There had been an expectation after a late pickup in Chinese economic data in March that we were about to see a decent pickup in economic activity in April. This optimism looks like it may have been misplaced as first some disappointing PMI’s were followed by weaker than expected import and export data for April,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a note on Monday.

Mining stocks, which usually come under pressure after weak China data, remained resilient. Anglo American was up 5.6 percent while BHP Billiton was in positive territory after Credit Suisse raised its price target for the stock.

Precious metals miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo were also both higher thanks to an uptick in the price of gold.

Platinum producer Lonmin reported $35 million in core profit for the six months to March 31, up from the $6 million in the same period last year. The news sent shares sharply higher, ending the day 19 percent up.

“Gains for the mining contingent suggest that disappointing Chinese data is being taken as a driver for more risk-asset friendly stimulus from Beijing to counter slowing economic growth,” Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, wrote in a note.

Europe closes on the flatline, miners rally – CNBC