PARIS Jan 23 European shares dipped early on
Thursday, tracking losses in Asia after softer-than-expected
Chinese manufacturing data fuelled concerns over the pace of
growth in the world's second-biggest economy.
At 0812 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,345.86 points,
hovering below a 5-1/2 year high hit earlier this week.
The flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell
to 49.6 in January, from December's 50.5, suggesting that
activity in China's factory sector contracted for the first time
in six months.
French stocks bucked the trend however, with the CAC 40
rising 0.1 percent, lifted by data showing French
business activity shrank less than expected in January.
Markit's index for the services sector rose to 48.6 from
47.8 in December, beating economists' average expectation of an
increase to only 48.1.