European stocks fell in thin trade on Monday, pressured by heavyweights such as Mercedes-Benz trading ex-dividend, while data that signalled a steeper pace of contraction in China’s factory activity also dampened risk appetite.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.8%, as of 0714 GMT, set to snap a three-day session of gains, although trading volumes were likely thinned by a UK bank holiday.
Ex-dividend factors weighed heavily on the STOXX 600, with automaker Mercedes-Benz, healthcare company Bayer , auto parts maker Continental and chemical group BASF all losing their payout attraction.
Data showed China’s factory activity contracted more than feared in April as widespread COVID-19 lockdowns halted industrial production and disrupted supply chains, raising fears of a sharp economic slowdown in the second quarter.
Among single stocks, wind turbine maker Vestas dropped 4% after it slashed its full-year operating profit margin outlook due to the war in Ukraine and writedowns in its offshore business.
German real estate group Adler Group SA slumped 44.1% to a record low as it said all members of its board of directors had offered to resign with immediate effect, after an auditor declined to give an opinion on the company’s financial statements.