European stocks declined as miners fell after manufacturing data missed economists estimates for the region and China.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.3 percent to 338.28 at the close of trading. A gauge of mining stocks fell to its lowest level this year, with iron-ore producers BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group losing more than 2.5 percent. National equity indexes of Spain and Italy dropped the most among 18 western-European markets.

A manufacturing gauge for the euro area fell to 50.4 in November, according to preliminary figures by London-based Markit Economics. Economists had forecast 50.8. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction. In China, a factory measure dropped to a six-month low.

The Stoxx 600 pared losses of as much as 0.9 percent after U.S. data pointed to an improving economy. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphias factory index climbed more than forecast, and sales of previously owned homes increased at a faster pace than projected.

A gauge of mining stocks slipped 1.6 percent for the worst performance among 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600. It has lost 4 percent in the past three days.

Source: Bloomberg