- Chinese GDP slows
- US market shut for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- IMF to upgrade global economic forecast
- Berlusconi returns to politics
FTSE 100: 0.08%
CAC 40: -0.15%
FTSE MIB: 0.02%
IBEX 35: -0.22%
Stoxx 600: -0.13%
European stocks were mixed on a quiet day for markets as US trading was closed to mark the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
"Without the US, we are a bit light on fresh data to see the markets want to pull too hard in either direction, with Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) numbers providing the focal point of the day so far," said Toby Morris, Senior Sales Trader at CMC Markets.
China's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 7.7% compared to the same period a year earlier, easing back from a 7.8% increase in the third quarter and marking the slowest pace of growth since 1999.
Another report showed industrial production in China was up 9.7% year-on-year in December, compared to a 10% jump in November and the consensus forecast of a 9.8% rise.
Retail sales in the nation grew 13.6% in December against a year ago, in line with economists' expectations. Sales were up 13.7% in November.
"Chinese data, released over night, was relatively mixed which explains the mild reaction in the markets," said Craig Erlam, analyst at Alpari.
IMF to upgrade world growth forecast
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to upgrade its global growth forecast tomorrow, with the UK leading the way.
The IMF is anticipated to lift its UK GDP growth projection in 2014 from 1.9% to 2.4%.
The news comes after IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned of risks of deflation in the Eurozone.
She said extremely low inflation in rich countries could spark a prolonged period of falling prices.
Core inflation fell to a record low of 0.7% in December, well below the European Central Bank's (ECB) target of 2%, but President Mario Draghi blamed a statistical glitch in Germany.
Elsewhere in Europe, Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has struck a reform deal with the leader of the centre-left Democratic Party Matteo Renzi.
The deal, under which Berlusconi will back electoral and constitutional proposals aimed at making Italy more governable, sees him return to politics after being thrown out of parliament last year for a tax fraud conviction.
However, the agreement, made Saturday night, has divided the governing coalition with some policymakers concerned they could risk extinction under a new electoral system.
Banks fall, luxury good rally
Banks, insurance companies and financial-services providers posted the biggest losses on the Stoxx 600 while gauge of personal and household-goods companies posted the biggest gain.
Deutsche Bank declined after the German lender reported a pre-tax loss in the fourth quarter due to litigation-relations expenses and costs of a reorganisation.
Hermes International rose after Deutsche Bank upgraded the company to 'hold' from 'sell'.
Peugeot slumped after posted a fall in annual sales of cars and light commercial vehicles.
Air France fell after UBS downgraded the European carrier to 'neutral' from 'buy'.
AB InBev advanced as the world's biggest beer maker agreed to buy back Oriental Brewery from KKR & Co. and Affinity Equity Partners.
Lanxess dropped after Nomura Holdings cut its rating on the speciality chemicals maker to 'reduce' from 'neutral'.
The euro was up 0.19% to $1.3567.
European oil sanctions ease
Today marked the first easing of European Oil related sanctions as a result of a preliminary deal on Iran's nuclear programme negotiated in November.
European companies are expected to enjoy lighter restrictions on the insurance and transportation of Iranian crude. A bar on trade in Iranian petrochemicals with the European Union is also anticipated.
Brent crude futures fell $0.311 to $106.150 per barrel, according to data from the ICE in late afternoon trading.