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Europe: Shares rise early as China data reassures


[PARIS] European shares rose in early trade on Tuesday, tracking a rally in Asian shares after data showed China's economic growth slowed less than feared.

Shares in Unilever bucked the trend, falling 1.7 per cent after the consumer goods major posted lower-than-expected fourth-quarter underlying sales growth due to weak emerging markets.

At 0805 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.5 per cent at 1,417.33 points, just shy of a seven-year high hit in the previous session.

China's economy grew 7.4 per cent in 2014, its slowest pace in 24 years and barely missing the country's official 7.5 per cent target. But the data was seen as a relief for investors, who had feared a sharper slowdown.