By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
U.K. government announces contract winners for high-speed railway project
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 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 fell 0.6% to 12,561. There, shares of Commerzbank AG (>> Commerzbank) 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 fell 0.4% to 5,218.06.
But the telecom group put in the best performance Monday on the Stoxx 600, with Telenor ASA (>> Telenor) 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 (>> Anglo American) tacked on 2.3%, as did shares of gold miner Centamin PLC . Commodity producer and trader Glencore PLC (>> Glencore) picked up 2.2%. Steel pipes producer Tenaris SA(>> Tenaris) 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 (>> Carillion) 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 (>> Balfour Beatty) joint venture also landed two HS2 contracts, valued at GBP2.5 billion. Its shares claimed at 2.8% rise.
ITV PLC shares (>> ITV) climbed 2.9% after the U.K. broadcaster said easyJet PLC's (>> EasyJet) 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 rose 0.2% to 7,390.91. Spain's IBEX 35 shed 0.3% to 10,616.
The euro traded at $1.1452, down from $1.1470 late Friday in New York.