European shares dip early as China data weighs

lunes 24 de marzo de 2014 05:22 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.4 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.3 pct

* China's lower-than-expected PMI weighs on sentiment

* Bayer sags after UK healthcare agency decision

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, March 24 (Reuters) - European stocks slipped in early trade on Monday, trimming last week's lofty gains, as data showing China's manufacturing activity contracted in the first quarter of 2014 revived worries over the outlook for global growth.

Losses were limited by robust data from Germany and figures showing a recovery in French manufacturing, which fuelled expectations of a long-awaited rebound in corporate profits in Europe this year.

But Bayer fell by more than 2 percent, impacting rival companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, after the drugmaker was dealt a blow by Britain's healthcare cost agency.

At 0852 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.4 percent at 1,302.71 points, after gaining 1.8 percent last week.

China's flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to an eight-month low of 48.1 in March, a weaker-than-expected figure. The index has been below the 50 level since January, indicating a contraction in the sector this year.   Continuación...