- Chinese GDP slows
- Berlusconi strikes reform deal with Renzi
- Greece 2014 fiscal plan rejected by troika
FTSE 100: -0.05%
CAC 40: -0.13%
FTSE MIB: -0.15%
IBEX 35: -0.23%
Stoxx 600: -0.11%
European stocks retreated as data showed China's economy slowed in the fourth quarter of last year.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in the world's second largest economy expanded 7.7% compared to the same period a year earlier, easing back from 7.8% growth in the third quarter.
It marked the slowest pace of growth since 1999, highlighting the challenge policymakers face in sustaining the strength in China's economy as the government implements tough reforms.
Another report showed industrial production in China increased 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.
"With such a large amount of data being released, I guess the real question investors have to ask themselves is which do they consider most important," said Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari UK.
"The obvious answer would be the GDP figure as it gives an overview of how the economy has performed in the last quarter and the year as a whole. However, this can be misleading as it doesn't highlight where the growth is coming from and whether it is sustainable."
Berlusconi returns to politics
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 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.
Meanwhile, in Greece, the so-called 'troika' of international bailout lenders has rejected the country's 2014 fiscal plan, according to a senior Greek finance ministry official.
The official said "differences and disagreements remain" over the fiscal plan.
His remarks come after a report that inspectors from the European Commission, the IMF and the ECB were not satisfied with the 2014 fiscal plan and returned it to Athens as 'inadequate'.
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.
Peugeot slumped after posted a fall in annual sales of cars and light commercial vehicles.
AB InBev advanced as the world's biggest beer maker agreed to buy back Oriental Brewery from KKR & Co. and Affinity Equity Partners.
The euro rose 0.09% to $1.3553.
Brent crude futures fell $0.169 to $106.290 per barrel, according to data from the ICE.