Investing.com

Investing.com - European stocks remained mixed in light trade on Monday, still supported by the rally in U.S. equities on Friday due to better-than-expected U.S. employment data, although a disappointing trade report from China limited gains.



During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 added 0.10%, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.33%, while Germany’s DAX 30 declined 0.44%.



The Labor Department reported on Friday that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, well above expectations for 149,000 new jobs.



However, data released over the weekend showed that Chinese exports fell 18.1% on a year-over-year basis in February, confounding expectations for a 6.8% increase, following a rise of 10.6% in January.



A separate report showed that the annual rate of inflation in China slowed to 2.0% in February, from 2.5% in January.



The data added to fears over a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.



Financial stocks remained broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale jumped 1.37% and 1.56%, although Germany''s Deutsche Bank slid 0.61%.



Among peripheral lenders, Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit surged 1.45% and 2.86% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA jumped 0.14% and 1.24%.



Elsewhere, Bouygues SA soared 9.69% after saying it is in talks to sell its network and some spectrum to Iliad SA for as much as €1.8 billion.



In London, FTSE 100 dipped 0.05%, although Rolls Royce continued to lead gains on the index, up 2.29%, after saying to the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited that it was ready to return to the government Rs.18 crore that it paid as commission to its agent.



The offer came as the British luxury carmaker is facing a Central Bureau of Investigation probe in an alleged bribery scandal.



Adding to gains, Unilever gained 0.59% following reports the sconsumer-products maker plans to open a manufacturing plant in Ethiopia during the next year in a bid to emulate its expansion into Vietnam.



In the financial sector, stocks remained mixed. HSBC Holdings climbed 0.66% and Lloyds Banking rallied 1.30%, while Barclays retreated 0.77% and the Royal Bank of Scotland plummeted 1.68%.



Meanwhile, mining stocks were still broadly lower. Glencore Xstrata tumbled 1.59% and BHP Billiton lost 0.92%, while Fresnillo and Antofagasta plunged 1.81% and 1.94% respectively.



In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.11% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.08% slip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.02% gain.





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