European stocks open higher Monday after stronger-than-expected economic data from China added new momentum to the global equity rally that has taken markets to record highs.

China's economy grew at a 6.9% pace in the three months ending in June, officials indicated Monday, thanks to stronger industrial output and export data.

The reading carried regional stocks, in the form of the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index, past a two-year high and extended the recent global rally into its second week.

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