Europe\'s main stock markets slid on Monday as positive eurozone data was offset by a drop in retail sales and weaker-than-expected profits at global banking giant HSBC, traders said. London\'s FTSE 100 index of leading shares fell 0.51 percent to 6,613.78 points in afternoon trading. Frankfurt\'s DAX 30 shed 0.27 percent to 8,384.08 points and the CAC 40 in Paris dipped 0.07 percent to 4,042.70. In Monday\'s foreign exchange trading, the euro slipped to $1.3247 from $1.3279 late in New York on Friday. The dollar dropped to 98.55 yen from 98.89 yen. On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold advanced to $1,311 an ounce from $1,309.25 on Friday. The eurozone recession seems to be fading out at last, with key growth indicators giving a surprisingly strong showing, economics experts said on Monday. A key leading indicator of activity, the Markit Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index for July switched to give a growth reading for the first time for 18 months. But eurozone retail sales, a key indicator of demand in the economy, slipped by 0.5 percent in June from the previous month, official data showed Monday. On the corporate front, shares in HSBC fell 5.1 percent to 716.20 pence after half-year net profits at Europe\'s biggest bank came in below expectations. Profit after tax jumped to $10.28 billion (7.73 billion euros) in the six months to the end of June compared with the first half of 2012 on lower costs and bad-debt charges, the British lender said in an earnings statement. The result came in slightly below analysts\' consensus forecast of profit after tax totalling $10.52 billion, according to a survey by Dow Jones Newswires. Meanwhile in France, utilities group Veolia Environnement reported a six-month profits slump to just 4.0 million euros owing to provisions and warned that its activities in China were slowing However shares in the group which provides water and waste management services in many countries rose by 4.8 percent to 10.76 euros as the company held to its targets for this year with the emphasis on reducing costs and debt. US stocks opened lower on Monday as investors adjusted to a lighter economic calendar following the busy pace of recent weeks that pushed the Dow and S&P 500 to record highs. Five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.28 percent to 15,614.58 points. The broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.24 percent to 1,705.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 0.15 percent to 3,683.96. Asian stock markets closed mostly lower on Monday after lower-than-expected US jobs growth sounded a warning about the recovery of the world\'s biggest economy, traders said. The release at the weekend of a slightly improved Chinese non-manufacturing purchasing managers\' index (PMI), compiled by HSBC bank, also failed to give Asian stocks a boost on Monday. Investors did not follow Wall Street, which last week closed at record highs despite the job figures indicating that growth remains sluggish. Official data on Friday showed that the US unemployment rate fell to a better-than-expected 7.4 percent in July from 7.6 percent in June, but jobs growth disappointed. The Labor Department reported that the United States added 162,000 jobs last month, well below the 175,000 expected on average by analysts. The non-farm payrolls data is used by analysts as an important indicator about the strength of the recovery in the world\'s number one economy. Some analysts said the improvement in the unemployment rate increased the chances the Federal Reserve will begin to reduce its bond-buying programme in September. However other analysts said the disappointing job creation numbers mean the Fed would likely hold off, a move that would please some investors.