European shares halt rally after poor China data
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.3 pct, pauses after last week's gains
* Shares in TGS sink after sales warning
* Citi downgrades mining sector to 'neutral'
PARIS, April 13 (Reuters) - European shares dipped in early trading on Monday, halting their recent sharp rally, following poor economic figures from China.
Shares in Norwegian seismic oil and gas explorer TGS sank 10.6 percent after it cut its full-year revenue guidance and said it would lay off a tenth of its workforce.
At 0728 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.3 percent at 1,640.83 points.
Data showed that China's export sales contracted 15 percent in March while import shipments fell at their sharpest rate since the 2009 global financial crisis, a shock outcome that deepens concern about sputtering Chinese economic growth.
"The export-based economy is in a process of structural changes and most of the efforts are focused on the consumption, and given that the numbers released today are appalling, you want to ask if global growth slowdown is casting its shadow," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Trade in Dublin.
Shares in resource-related companies featured among the top losers, with BHP Billiton down 3.3 percent, Rio Tinto down 2.7 percent and Anglo American down 2.9 percent. Continuación...