By Shashank Nayar and Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) – European stocks were stable on Monday as disappointing Chinese economic data and caution over the spread of a variant of COVID-19 outweighed optimism over the reopening of the British economy.
* The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended unchanged, with travel and leisure stocks falling the most, down 2.3%, while telecom stocks rose the most, led by gains in Telephone.
* Data showed that Chinese factories slowed their production growth in April and that retail sales fell short of expectations. Meanwhile, officials warned of new problems affecting the economic recovery.
* In addition, new restrictions in Asia following another wave of COVID-19 cases and concerns about the spread of a variant of the coronavirus, first identified in India, overshadowed optimism about the UK economic reopening.
* “Airlines are lagging again today as optimism about the reopening of international travel has been short-lived amid concerns about the growth of the Indian variant of COVID,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG.
* “Unfortunately, the risks posed by this latest strain also raise questions around the same businesses that have just found a respite from closure restrictions, with pub and restaurant chains lagging behind despite the resumption of meals inside, “Mahony added.
* European stocks have performed well so far and hit record highs this month, with the STOXX 600 rising nearly 11% so far this year as the outlook for economic recovery and strong corporate earnings drew traders. share buyers.
* The European Union agreed to a partial truce with the United States in a dispute over tariffs on metals, imposed by former President Donald Trump, to start talks on global overcapacity and China’s “trade distortion” policies.
* Mining stocks gained 0.9%.
(Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)