PARIS, Feb 4 (Reuters) - European shares sank in early trade on Tuesday, retreating for the seventh time in nine sessions and tracking a sell-off on Wall Street and in Asia sparked by lower-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data.
At 0806 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.6 percent at 1,265.95 points. The index has lost 6.5 percent since a peak on Jan. 21, its sharpest pull-back in seven months.
"In Europe, the slide to two-month lows seems impossible to stop. The enthusiasm of the dip buyers is gone and people are moving to the sidelines for now," said Guillaume Dumans, co-head of research firm 2Bremans.
Figures showed on Monday U.S. manufacturing grew at a slower pace in January as new order growth plunged by the most in 33 years. The data pointed to some loss of steam in the world's biggest economy and sent U.S. benchmark stock indexes down more than 2 percent on the day.
The sell-off spread to Asia, with Tokyo's Nikkei index plummeting 4.2 percent, its biggest one-day percentage decline since June 2013. After a stellar performance in 2013, the Nikkei is down 14 percent so far this year.