The pan-European STOXX 600 inched up 0.2 percent by 0725 GMT, in line with Germany's DAX, which is heavily exposed to China.
Basic resources and autos were among the worst-performing sectors as they are both reliant on solid Chinese growth, but industrials merger speculation helped outweigh the overall negative impact of the data.
The top European mover was drugmaker Indivior, jumping 26 percent after a U.S. court blocked India's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories from selling generic versions of its bestselling opioid addiction treatment in the U.S.
Elevator firm Kone drove gains among industrials, with a 1.7 percent gain after a report that the Finnish company and Germany's Thyssenkrupp had held merger talks on their elevator operations. Thyssenkrupp rose 0.8 percent.
Broker recommendations also moved some stocks.
In the UK market, Debenhams shares fell 5.6 percent after a Sunday Times report said credit insurers had cut cover for suppliers to the department store, which has issued three profit warnings this year.
(Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Kit Rees)
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