European stock markets ended the session on an upbeat note on Monday as Chinese growth data met analyst expectations, while Wall Street also traded higher despite weak US retail sales.
London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares rose 0.63 percent to end at 6,586.11 points, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.27 percent to 8,243.81 points and in Paris the CAC 40 added 0.61 percent to finish at 3,878.58 points.
China's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 7.5 percent in the April-June quarter, official data showed on Monday, a second slowdown in growth in a row.
While the figure was in line with a median forecast of 10 economists by AFP, it follows a series of weak numbers pointing to trouble in the Asian giant, fuelling concerns it could miss the government's 2013 growth target.
"Europe's markets have started the week on the front foot after Chinese GDP data for the second quarter came in pretty much in line with expectations, though if you dig a little deeper it remains pretty obvious that the problems underneath the hood of the Chinese economy remain all too real," CMC Markets UK analyst Michael Hewson said.
Capital Spreads dealer Jonathan Sudaria said that amid eurozone economic strains and a fragile US recovery, "hopes that the world's second-largest economy could somehow lift the rest of the world out of the slump are quickly fading".
China's leaders have proclaimed a long-term goal of rebalancing the economy, and since coming to power as Communist Party chief in November and then state president in March, Xi Jinping has placed less emphasis on the traditional growth drivers of exports and investment, and more on consumer spending.
Shanghai's main stocks index added 0.98 percent to 2,059.39 points in reaction to the latest Chinese numbers. Hong Kong also advanced, while the Sydney index -- on which a number of listed companies rely on Chinese trade -- climbed 0.15 percent. Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.
Stocks were helped higher on Monday also after Wall Street's Dow and S&P 500 indices had finished at record highs ahead of the weekend -- thanks to better-than-expected earnings reports from banking titans JP Morgan and Wells Fargo.
After a bumpy start on the back of a disappointing June retail sales report, US stocks rebounded.
In afternoon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had won 0.06 percent, while the broader S&P 500 rose 0.13 percent and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite added 0.12 percent.
-- French bond yields edge up on downgrade --
In foreign exchange deals on Monday, the euro fell to $1.3058 from $1.3066 late in New York on Friday. The dollar grew to 100.15 yen from 99.29 yen.
"The euro is continuing to hold up relatively well despite the ECB's recent commitment to maintain present or lower rates for an extended period, and rising political uncertainty in the eurozone," said Hardman.
The French sovereign debt market fell after a decision by Fitch rating agency late on Friday to downgrade its notation of French debt from the prized triple "A" status by one notch to "AA+".
This made Fitch the third of the three main rating agencies to remove the top rating from France. The yield on French 10-year bonds edged up to 2.203 percent from 2.193 percent.
However, analysts said that investors scarcely reacted to the expected rating decision.
The price of gold climbed to $1,284.75 an ounce from $1,279.75 Friday on the London Bullion Market.
"With the Chinese economy still expanding at a healthy pace, it looks as if demand for raw materials will not drop off in the near term," said Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG trading group.