European stocks little changed
European stocks were little changed this morning as foreign direct investment into China dropped to a two-year low, offsetting better-than-estimated UK retail sales in July.
US index futures fluctuated, while Asian shares climbed.
Telekom Austria slid 4.8 per cent after cutting its profit and sales forecast for 2012. William Demant dropped the most in a year after first-half earnings fell short of analysts' estimates.
Novozymes, the world's biggest maker of industrial enzymes, gained 3.1 per cent after reporting second-quarter profit that exceeded analysts' projections.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped less than 0.1 per cent to 270.26 at 11.05am in London.
European stocks have rallied for the last 10 weeks amid optimism that policy makers will do more to stimulate the global economy.
Standard and Poor's 500 Index futures expiring in September rose 0.1 per cent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.5 perc ent.
"The slowdown in China is more severe than anticipated and this is an additional warning signal for export nations such as Germany and other major European countries," Matthias Jasper, head of equities at WGZ Bank in Dusseldorf, said in a phone interview.
"The Chinese government has a lot of opportunities to tackle the issue, and investors are waiting to see what measures will be taken."
Foreign direct investment in China slid 8.7 per cent from a year earlier to $7.58 billion, a release from the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing showed today.
That was the eighth drop in nine months and the smallest inflow since July 2010. Premier Wen Jiabao said there's "growing room for monetary policy operation," state television reported yesterday.
In the UK, retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in July, the Office for National Statistics said in London.