European shares dip as growth worries peg back indexes

LONDON, March 4 Mon Mar 4, 2013 3:12am EST

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) - European shares ebbed lower at the open on Monday as clouds built up on the outlook for growth in China while worries lingered over U.S. budget talks and Italian elections.

By 0809 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 5.15 points, or 0.4 percent, at 1,163.49 points, while the euro zone's blue chip index shed 0.5 percent to 2,602.95 points as caution grew over the outlook for the global economy.

Early losses echoed a fall in Chinese equities as worries about Beijing tightening its grip on the property sector compounded weak sentiment already dampened by a patchy global growth outlook.

"Below forecast China PMI data (on Friday) and curbing property expansion is doing little to boost risk appetite. Meanwhile U.S. budget talks and Italy's political uncertainty is adding to the downbeat tone," a London-based trader said.

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