- European stocks remained lower on Monday, as the release of disappointing manufacturing and service sector data from the euro zone continued to weigh.

During European afternoon trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 retreated 0.47%, France’s CAC 40 shed 0.30%, while Germany’s DAX slid 0.33%.

The euro zone’s composite index of service and manufacturing sector activity across the region fell to a six-month low of 52.8 in June from 53.5 in May.

The euro area’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 51.9, down from a final reading of 52.2 in May. Economists had expected an unchanged reading.

The bloc’s services PMI declined to 52.8 from 53.2 in May, compared to expectations for an uptick to 53.3.

Germany’s manufacturing PMI ticked up to a two-month high of 52.4 from 52.3 in May, while the country’s services PMI declined to a two-month low of 54.8 from 56.0 in May, but remained well above the 50 level that separates growth from contraction.

The data came after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said over the weekend that interest rates would stay low over a longer period and that large-scale asset purchases are still part of the central bank''s toolkit.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) and BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) tumbled 1.43% and 1.07%, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) plummeted 1.55%. Bloomberg reported earlier that BNP is nearing an agreement to plead guilty and pay $8 billion to $9 billion to settle allegations it violated U.S. sanctions.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy''s Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) plunged 1.59% and 1.73% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) and BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) both declined 0.55%.

On the upside, Alstom (PARIS:ALSO) slipped 0.21%, erasing earlier gains posted after General Electric (NYSE:GE) signed the $17 billion purchase of the French company''s energy assets, marking its biggest acquisition ever, after the resolution of the French government’s last condition for the deal.

In London, FTSE 100 slipped 0.24%, as U.K. lenders still tracked their European counterparts lower.

Shares in HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) shed 0.34% and Barclays (LONDON:BARC) retreated 0.47%, while Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) lost 1.14% and 1.89% respectively.

Meanwhile, mining stocks remained broadly higher as Vedanta Resources (LONDON:VED) jumped 1.07% and Antofagasta (LONDON:ANTO) gained 1.14%, while Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) surged 1.99% and 2.18%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.03% dip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.04% uptick, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.11% fall.

Also Monday, Markit said that France’s private sector continued to contract this month, while the French manufacturing PMI tumbled to a six-month low of 47.8, down from 49.6 in May, while the service sector PMI fell to a four-month low of 48.2 from 49.1.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release preliminary data on manufacturing activity and private sector data on existing home sales.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger