European markets seen lower amid growing fears over global growth
European stocks are set to open lower Friday morning, amid escalating concerns of a sharp slowdown in the world's second largest economy.div > div.group > p:first-child">
Market focus is largely attuned to a possible economic slowdown over the coming months. It comes after China reported weaker-than-expected retail sales data on Friday. The sector grew at its weakest pace since 2003 in November, with disappointing industrial and domestic demand figures also darkening the Asian giant's economic outlook.
The data underscored the rising risks to China's economy as Beijing works to resolve an ongoing trade war with the U.S.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, slipped more than 1.4 percent on the news.
Back in Europe, investors are likely to monitor flash Markit manufacturing PMI figures for Germany and the euro area shortly after the opening bell.
The embattled U.K. leader has been seeking legal assurances over the so-called Irish backstop in an effort to help get her Brexit deal through parliament. However, EU leaders have repeatedly said a Brexit withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation.