* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.9 pct, after gaining 0.8 pct on Friday
* Pirelli rises after takeover bid from ChemChina
* European exporters getting expensive -JPMorgan
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, March 23 (Reuters) - European shares slipped from multi-year highs on Monday, as a new bout of worries concerning Greece led investors to book profits on the market’s solid start to 2015.
Shares in Pirelli outperformed, rising 2.5 percent after China National Chemical Corp agreed to buy the Italian tyre maker in a 7.1 billion euro ($7.66 billion) deal.
The acquisition, agreed with Pirelli shareholders on Sunday, will see state-owned ChemChina take over the world’s fifth-largest tyre maker and one of the symbols of Italy’s manufacturing industry.
Traders said lingering uncertainty over Greece pegged back European stock markets on Monday.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in his first official visit to Berlin on Monday, amid a standoff between Athens and its creditors.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.9 percent at 1,597.29 points, having climbed 0.8 percent on Friday to hit a 7-1/2-year high of 1,613.80 points.
Germany’s DAX, which hit a record high of 1,2219.05 points last week, shed 1.4 percent to 11,868.20 points.
“There’s just no positive catalyst seen in the short term,” said Saxo Bank trader Andrea Tueni.
“In relative terms, equities remain very attractive versus bonds, but after such a rally people are tempted to just book some profits, especially ahead of Tsipras’s visit to Berlin.”
European stocks have been rallying strongly since the start of the year -- with Germany’s DAX up by more than 20 percent, on track to record its best quarter in 12 years -- as global investors have bet that a weaker euro would boost the region’s economy and corporate earnings.
The euro has fallen by about 25 percent against the dollar over the past year. This should give euro zone companies a major lift as roughly 50 percent of their earnings come from outside the region.
But after its recent strong rally, a stabilisation of the dollar following on more dovish tone from the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to trigger a shift in market leadership, JP Morgan strategists said.
“Euro exporters did very well, but are not attractively priced anymore, and the bulk of the foreign exchange support might be behind us,” the strategists wrote in a note, cutting the luxury sector to ‘neutral’ from ‘overweight’ and reiterating a recommendation to take profits on the auto sector.
Shares in Louis Vuitton owner LVMH dropped 2.5 percent and Christian Dior fell 3.1 percent.
Renault and Daimler were down by 2-2.5 percent.
Deutsche Bank shares edged up 0.7 percent after sources said the German bank’s retail operations will bear the brunt of its planned restructuring and will most likely be spun off in a stock market listing.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
$1 = 0.9268 euros Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Andrew Heavens and John Stonestreet