KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - World stock markets were lackluster Monday, with Wall Street closed for a long weekend and China's economic growth slowing.
China's economy grew 7.7 percent in the quarter through December, down from 7.8 percent the previous quarter. For the full year, the economy expanded 7.7 percent, tying 2012 for the weakest performance since the 1990s.
China's growth is far stronger than the United States, Japan or Europe. But an unexpectedly abrupt decline from the double digit rates of the previous decade has complicated the ruling Communist Party's plans to promote more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption and reduce reliance on trade and investment.
"The 'boom' is ending, but sustained demand is just as important," said Evan Lucas, market strategist with IG in Melbourne, Australia.
In early European trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was little changed at 6,828.19 and Germany's DAX dropped 0.3 percent to 9,715.28. France's CAC 40 added 0.1 percent to 4,330.66. Wall Street is closed Monday for Martin Luther King Day.
Japan's Nikkei 225 sank 0.6 percent to 15,641.68. China's Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.7 percent to 1,991.25 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.9 percent to 22,928.95. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.2 percent at 5,295.
Wall Street was dragged down Friday by weak corporate earnings. The Dow gained 0.3 percent to 16,462 but the S&P 500 dropped 0.1 percent to 1,844.21.
Analysts said the U.S. corporate reporting season will be in focus when Wall Street reopens Tuesday after some disappointing earnings so far. Markets will also be cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's next meeting on Jan 29.
Benchmark crude for February delivery was down 72 cents to $93.65 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 41 cents to settle at $94.37 on Friday.
The euro rose to $1.3551 from $1.3542. The dollar rose to 104.15 yen from 104.12 yen.