PARIS, June 10 (Reuters) - European stocks ended slightly lower on Monday as China’s unexpectedly weak imports data prompted investors to dump cyclical miners and pick up defensive companies such as Deutsche Telekom and Bayer .
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares provisionally closed 0.06 percent lower at 1,193.58 points, following a 1.3 percent bounce on Friday after U.S. jobs data showed the economy was growing but probably not enough for the Federal Reserve to wind down its stimulus measures.
“We’re seeing a bit of profit taking after Friday’s rally, and with no clear catalyst on the macro front expected this week, we might be stuck in a range for at least a few days,” Saxo Banque senior sales trader Alexandre Baradez said.
Data showed over the weekend China’s imports in May fell 0.3 percent against expectations for a 6 percent rise, with the volume of major metals imports such as copper falling at double-digit rates.
European mining shares tumbled, with Anglo American down 3 percent and Vedanta down 2.4 percent.
Defensives rallied, with Deutsche Telekom gaining 1.7 percent and Bayer adding 1.1 percent.
Greece’s main stock index ATG dropped 4.7 percent, weighed by disappointment on the government’s failure to attract any binding bids for natural gas company DEPA, which makes it unlikely the country will meet privatisation targets under its international bailout.