* World shares slip as growth worries weigh
* Italian shares weaken, bond yields gain on political stalemate
* Euro dips as talk of ECB rate cut gains strength
NEW YORK, March 4 (Reuters) - Shares in major world markets slipped on Monday as China’s plans for tighter controls on its property sector added to concern about slower global growth, while political uncertainty in Italy continued to unsettle investors.
The euro retreated after last week’s weak manufacturing data increased expectations the European Central Bank could cut interest rates to boost the region’s economy.
Currency markets were also looking ahead to rate-setting meetings being held by central banks in Japan, Canada and Australia as evidence mounts of weaker global growth.
On Sunday, China reported that its services sector expanded at the slowest pace in five months in February, and factory growth also cooled to multi-month lows. The government could increase downpayments and loan rates for buyers of second homes in cities where prices are rising too quickly.
Worries about global economic growth prompted investors to step back from U.S. equities, and Wall Street opened slightly lower.
“There’s still a lot of uncertainty, but it doesn’t seem like the weakness has any follow-through because there’s a lot of people that have underperformed or are underinvested and jump in on any kind of weakness,” said Alan Lancz, president at Alan B. Lancz & Associates in Toledo, Ohio.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 46.32 points or 0.33 percent, to 14,043.34, the S&P 500 lost 2.83 points or 0.19 percent, to 1,515.37 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.97 points or 0.19 percent, to 3,163.77.
The less optimistic economic outlook sent MSCI’s world equity index down around 0.3 percent. European shares were 0.2 percent lower dragged by a 2.1 percent fall in mining stocks, which are highly exposed to change in the growth outlook.
A lack of progress in talks to form a new Italian government after last week’s inconclusive elections weighed most on the country’s stocks and bonds, with 10-year bond yields up three basis points at 4.846 percent.
Analysts said the decline would have been steeper but for European Central Bank’s promise to support struggling nations but there remained doubts over how this could be implemented without a government able to enact tough reforms.
Rising expectations that euro zone economic worries could prompt the ECB to cut interest rates sooner than previously anticipated weighed on the euro.
The single currency was down 0.1 percent at around $1.3007 , just above Friday’s 11-week low of $1.2966.
“There has been increased talk of an ECB rate cut, with at least one investment house predicting it,” said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman. “We are less sanguine. While the economic data has been soft, the ECB had anticipated weakness early in the year.”
Despite the apparent run from risk on the day, U.S. Treasury debt prices edged lower as investors weighed recent price gains against the Italian uncertainty and Chinese growth concerns.
Treasuries could likely stay range bound for much of the week as markets await a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday and key U.S. jobs data on Friday.
“The market’s a bit expensive to really go ‘gung-ho’ and buy at this point even though there’s a lot of risk,” said Kim Rupert, managing director of global fixed income analysis at Action Economics LLC in San Francisco.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note dipped 3/32 in price to yield 1.8549 percent, after earlier hitting a fresh 6-week low of 1.827.