European shares fell on Wednesday as fresh data pointing to China’s faltering economic recovery as well as slowing services sector activity in the euro zone stoked concerns about a sharp hit to global growth.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) was down 0.4% by 8:23 GMT, following a quiet session on Tuesday when the U.S. markets were closed for Independence Day.
China’s services activity expanded at the slowest pace in five months in June, a private-sector survey showed on Wednesday, piling on to a raft of data signalling weakness in the world’s second-largest economy after the pandemic.
“Those Chinese PMI (data) are very important towards market sentiment as they fade away the prospects of higher demand from the second biggest economy in the world,” said Pierre Veyret, ActivTrades analyst.
Further hurting investor sentiment was data that showed euro zone business activity slipped into contractionary territory. Services activity in major European economies was also hit, with France’s dominant services sector falling in June for the first time since January.