LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) - Weak Chinese economic data weighed on European equity markets on Monday, although German carmaker BMW rose to outperform after it benefited from a broker upgrade.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.2 percent to 1,304.93 points in early session trading, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also slipped 0.1 percent to 3,093.55 points.
However, BMW rose 1.8 percent after Deutsche Bank raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold".
Some traders said the weak Chinese data would prevent European markets from making much progress in the near-term.
Data on Monday showed that the China HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to an eight-month low in March.
"The trend is still down for now," said Berkeley Futures associate director Richard Griffiths. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Hugh Lawson)