Miners drag Europe markets lower; China data disappoints; AMS shares jump 16%


European stocks were slightly lower Tuesday morning, after weaker-than-expected data in China underscored lingering concerns about the global economy.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down around 0.15% during early morning deals, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

Europe’s basic resources stocks — with their heavy exposure to China — led the losses shortly after the opening bell, down more than 1.5%. Glencore, Aurubis and Hydro were the worst performers, all trading around 2% lower.

Looking at individual stocks, chipmaker AMS surged to the top of the European benchmark during morning trade. It comes after the Apple supplier reported an upbeat outlook for the second quarter, driven by a rising number of Android smartphones using its 3D optical sensors. Shares of the Austrian group jumped more than 16% on the news.

Meanwhile, Danske Bank tumbled to the bottom of the index, after the embattled lender posted earnings below expectations and slashed its outlook for the remainder of the year. Shares of Denmark’s biggest bank dipped almost 7%.

British oil giant BP reported earnings largely in line with expectations Tuesday morning. The London-based oil and gas firm said first-quarter underlying replacement cost profit — used as a proxy for net profit — came in at $2.4 billion, versus $2.3 billion expected in a Reuters poll. Shares of BP rose almost 1%.

GDP data in focus

Official and private business surveys published Tuesday showed the manufacturing sector in the world’s second-largest economy expanded at a slower pace than analysts had expected in April. The weak data, which also showed a slower rate of growth in Beijing’s services sector, added to economic uncertainty.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, slipped around 0.7%. Japan’s financial markets are closed for a long national holiday this week.

Stateside, the U.S. central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is due to announce its latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to hold interest rates steady, as it seeks to balance robust economic growth against low inflation.

Back in Europe, the euro zone is scheduled to publish a flash reading of first-quarter GDP (gross domestic product) at around 10:00 a.m. London time.