PARIS Feb 24 European shares fell in early trade on Monday, with Volkswagen sinking after it issued a disappointing 2014 outlook and unveiled plans to buy out minority shareholders of Scania.
Shares in the German car maker tumbled 7 percent, while other car makers also lost ground, with Porsche down 5.9 percent and Renault down 1.3 percent.
Worries brewing over credit restrictions on China's property sector also kept investors on edge. The Shanghai Composite Index sank 1.8 percent on Monday to its lowest in two weeks, knocked lower by news reports saying Chinese banks had begun tightening property loans.
At 0813 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.4 percent at 1,338.32 points.
European stocks had sharply risen over the past 2-1/2 weeks, boosted in part by hopes of a rebound in corporate profits in Europe in 2014.