European shares open lower as macro gloom resurfaces

LONDON Mon Oct 8, 2012 3:14am EDT

LONDON Oct 8 (Reuters) - European shares traded lower early on Monday, surrendering some of the strong gains made in the previous sessions, as weak economic estimates for Asia hurt sentiment and investors start to position for a weak earnings season.

The World Bank cut its economic growth forecasts for the East Asia and Pacific region, warning that the slowdown in China could get worse and last longer than expected.

"The big bogeyman in the closet is China and everyone is trying to guesstimate if it's going to have a hard landing or a soft landing," said Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels.

"We'll have some cautious guidance, which normally doesn't help markets."

The U.S. third-quarter reporting season, set to start on Tuesday, was expected to show the first decline in earnings in three years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

At 0708 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.7 percent at 1,103.51 points.

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