LONDON – European shares and oil fell on Wednesday after weak data from China and Australia deepened concerns about the global economy, while the euro held steady as traders waited for Spain's next move in solving its debt problems.
China's giant economy looks set for a seventh quarter of slowing growth after an official survey pointed to a drop in service sector activity and Australia's August trade deficit showed weaker demand for commodities exports.
The data sent the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> down 0.2 percent and saw the FTSE Eurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> of top European shares open around 0.3 percent lower at 1,098.30 points.
"The data out of Asia is quite negative and that is going to put pressure on all riskier assets," said Ian Stannard, Head of European FX Strategy at Morgan Stanley
Brent crude oil fell 0.7 percent to just under $111 a barrel at $110.75.
Final estimates of activity in Europe's services sector, due out later, are expected to add to the gloom. However, any reaction is likely to be curtailed ahead of the European Central Bank's monthly monetary policy meeting, a Spanish debt auction on Thursday and the U.S. jobs report due on Friday.
The euro was little changed at around $1.29 as traders waited for the next developments in Spain after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Tuesday a request for European aid was not imminent.
The comments by Rajoy and the signs of slowing growth, underpinned safe-haven German bonds, lifting the most active Bund futures contract 34 ticks to 141.77.
(Reporting by Richard Hubbard; Editing by Anna Willard)