European shares hit an over two-month low on Wednesday as weak economic data from China fuelled concerns about a global slowdown and countered optimism from signs of easing inflation in some of the major euro zone economies.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.7% to hit its lowest level since March 31.
The main regional stock markets were set for monthly losses, with London's FTSE 100 and Paris' CAC 40 among the worst hit. Both the indexes were also trading at a two-month low on Wednesday.
China-linked automakers and industrial goods and services led sectoral losses in Europe after data showed factory activity in the Asian country shrank faster than expected in May on weakening demand. China is Germany's main trading partner. Bucking the sombre mood, numbers showed French inflation cooled more than expected in May, while German state North Rhine-Westphalia also saw easing price pressures this month.
Shares of troubled Swedish real estate firm SBB sank 7.6% to a near seven-year low.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)