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Market Update

European Markets Track Asia Lower

European markets opened lower Monday, following losses in the Asian session after weak Chinese data eroded consumer confidence.

The FTSE 100 was down 1.00% at 8:36 a.m. London time. The CAC 40 Paris retreated 0.9% while the DAX Frankfurt fell 0.8% at the time of writing.

Data released earlier in the day showed China's gross domestic product grew a less than expected 7.7% from a year ago, as compared with a growth of 7.9% clocked in the previous quarter.

March industrial production figures also came in lower than expected, stoking fresh concerns about economic recovery in the world's second largest economy.

Stocks on the move

Miners underwent sharp pressure as commodities declined. BHP Billiton Plc. dropped 2.6%, Rio Tinto Plc. fell 3.2% while Xstrata Plc. tumbled over 4% on the resource-heavy FTSE 100 benchmark index.

Financial stock also found their way downward. Barclays Plc. lost 1.8%, Lloyds Banking Group erased over 1% while Royal Bank of Scotland gave up around 2%.

Among German lenders, Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG were trading around 2% lower while French banks Societe Generale SA and Credit Agricole SA plunged nearly 3% each.

Moving against the tide, Centrica Plc. added 0.5% amid reports that the U.K. based energy firm along with Qatar Petroleum International have reached an agreement with Suncor Energy to acquire a vast majority of its conventional natural gas and crude oil assets.

In other news, French cosmetics group L'Oreal S.A. purchased the health and beauty business of Kenya's Interconsumer Products Ltd. from its founding shareholder for an undisclosed amount as part of its effort to expand in Africa. Shares of L'Oreal were trading 1.2% lower.