Mining stocks gain ground, but European indexes pull back – MarketWatch

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Stocks in Europe edged lower Monday, but mining shares kept the upward pace after China’s quarterly growth figures topped expectations.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.14% turned down 0.2% to 386,17 as most major European indexes began to reverse course and lose ground. Last week, the Stoxx 600 rose 1.8%, the largest gain since early May.

Among key benchmarks, Germany’s DAX 30 index DAX, -0.44%  fell 0.6% to 12,561. There, shares of Commerzbank AG CBK, -0.28%  were down 0.5%, with a downgrade to hold from buy of the lender at Kepler Cheuvreux, according to Dow Jones Newswires. France’s CAC 40 index PX1, -0.22%  fell 0.4% to 5,218.06.

But the telecom group put in the best performance Monday on the Stoxx 600, with Telenor ASA TEL, +7.57%  soaring 7.6% after the Norwegian telecom company launched a new share buyback program and raised guidance.

Gains in the basic materials group were led by mining stocks, which were bolstered after China’s second-quarter gross domestic product growth came in at 6.9%, higher than a 6.8% estimate in a Wall Street Journal survey of economists. Data from China, a major consumer of industrial and precious metals, also showed strengthening in industrial production and retail sales.

In the group, shares of diversified miner Anglo American AAL, +2.01%  tacked on 2.3%, as did shares of gold miner Centamin PLC CEY, +2.45%  . Commodity producer and trader Glencore PLC GLEN, +1.63% GLCNF, +1.97%  picked up 2.2%. Steel pipes producer Tenaris SA TEN, +1.13%  moved up 1.5%.

China’s “solid growth reinforces recoveries for commodity exporters and keeps 2017’s pickup in global growth on track,” said Bill Adams, senior international economist at PNC Financial Services Group, in a note. “And with little sign of global inflationary pressure from either labor markets or commodity prices, this global expansion has room to run.”

Stock movers: Carillion PLC shares CLLN, +23.15%  zoomed up 17% as the infrastructure services company’s joint venture partnership won two U.K. government contracts worth 1.4 billion pounds ($1.80 billion). The companies will help build Britain’s planned High Speed 2 railway.

Balfour Beatty PLC’s BBY, +2.70%  joint venture also landed two HS2 contracts, valued at £2.5 billion. Its shares claimed at 2.8% rise.

ITV PLC shares ITV, +3.14%  climbed 2.9% after the U.K. broadcaster said easyJet PLC’s EZJ, -0.28%  boss Carolyn McCall will become its new chief executive on Jan. 8. EasyJet said it’s already started looking for McCall’s successor. Shares of the budget airline reversed course and rose 0.3%.

Other indexes: The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index UKX, +0.26%  rose 0.2% to 7,390.91. Spain’s IBEX 35 IBEX, -0.35%  shed 0.3% to 10,616.

The euro EURUSD, -0.0872%  traded at $1.1452, down from $1.1470 late Friday in New York.

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