* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.1 pct, off earlier session highs
* Mining and oil stocks fall on weak China data
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Monday, as a retreat by commodity stocks and some weak results from Morgan Stanley caused the region’s equity markets to fall back from their earlier highs.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index first rose as much as 0.8 percent, then lost ground to stand 0.1 percent lower going into the close.
European equities lost ground as U.S. futures fell after the Morgan Stanley reported a third-quarter profit that fell short of expectations.
Weak data from China, the world’s second-biggest economy, also knocked down mining and oil stocks, which put more pressure on European stock markets.
“The Morgan Stanley numbers did not help, and the market is just a little disappointed that there were no immediate stimulus measures coming out of China,” said Berkeley Futures’ associate director Richard Griffiths.
Data showed that China’s economic growth dipped below 7 percent for the first time since the global financial crisis, hurt partly by cooling investment.
China’s factory output in September rose 5.7 percent from a year ago, against forecasts for a 6 percent increase. September retail spending, however, grew at an annual rate of 10.9 percent, beating a 10.8 percent forecast.
Some analysts said the Chinese growth figures would put pressure on Beijing to further cut interest rates and take other measures to stoke activity.
“Figures out of China are mixed. However, at this point in time, news that is not exceptionally bad or deteriorating is probably perceived as good,” Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets, said.
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Larry King)