May 16, 2022 04:21AM ET
European stock indexes opened weaker on Monday after oil prices fell and riskier currencies came under pressure in Asian trade as unexpectedly weak economic data from China added to fears of slowing growth.
Retail sales in China fell 11.1% in April from a year earlier, nearly twice as much as forecast, as partial COVID-19 closures were imposed in dozens of cities. Industrial production fell 2.9%, while analysts had expected a slight increase.
Investors fear that inflation, which is driving up interest rates, will hurt the global economy. Those fears caused global stock prices to hit their lowest level in 18 months last week.
At 03:32 AM ET, the MSCI World Equity Index, which tracks the stocks of 50 countries, was unchanged on the day but still above last week's lows.
Europe's STOXX 600 fell 0.5%, while London's FTSE 100 slipped 0.4%.
European government bond yields rose slightly, with the 10-year German yield up 3 basis points to about 0.974%, well below the roughly eight-year high of 1.19% it reached last Monday.
The European Central Bank is likely to decide at its next meeting to end its stimulus program in July and raise interest rates "very soon" after that, ECB policy chief Pablo Hernández de Cos said Saturday.
ING analysts said concerns about economic growth could lead to government bonds acting as safe havens.
At 03:41 AM ET, the U.S. 10-year yield was at 2.9221%.