LONDON, March 10 European shares extended the previous session's steep losses on Monday, with miners hit by weak Chinese economic data that revived concerns about slowing growth in the country, the world's biggest metals consumer.
Investors, already jittery due to tension in Ukraine, where Russian forces seized another border post and a military airfield, faced weekend data from China showing a surprisingly sharp drop in exports, which tipped the country's trade balance into a deficit.
"Chinese figures, together with some news on renewed tensions in Crimea, have equity markets on the defensive. Germany is hurt a bit more than the others as it is an exporter nation with vast interests in both Central Europe and China," Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets, said.
"However, in the larger scheme of things this is probably a healthy correction. We see this as a little pause and not the end of the bull market and remain buyers of the dip."
The European basic resources index, fell 2 percent after slipping 3.5 percent in the previous session, tracking a steep decline in base metals prices.
At 0806 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.2 percent at 1,323.95 points after falling 1.3 percent on Friday.