European shares fall on Greek worries, Chinese growth concerns
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.9 pct, Athens's ATG down 6 pct
* Escalating violence in Russia also hits sentiment
* JP Morgan downgrades DAX to 'neutral' from 'overweight'
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Feb 9 (Reuters) - European stocks retreated on Monday, hurt by much softer-than-expected Chinese trade data and rising concerns about Greece's relations with Europe after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he would not extend the country's bailout.
Escalating violence in Eastern Ukraine also rattled investors, with the DAX falling 1.4 percent. Germany is seen as one of Europe's most exposed economies to Russia.
JP Morgan strategists downgraded their recommendation on the DAX to 'neutral' from 'overweight' on Monday, citing among other things the German benchmark's recent strong outperformance.
Greek banking shares tumbled, with Bank of Piraeus falling 14 percent, Alpha Bank down 8.2 percent, Eurobank down 11.9 percent and National Bank of Greece down 8.9 percent. Athens' benchmark index ATG fell 6 percent.
Around midday, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.9 percent at 1,477.89 points. Continuación...