[LONDON] European stocks fell sharply at the open on Monday, with a top index hitting a seven month low, as a slide in Chinese markets continued to roil equities globally.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 3.6 per cent, set for its biggest one day fall since September 2011.
Concerns over China knocked the index last week as it posted its biggest weekly drop since August 2011, and it hit its lowest level since January in early deals on Monday.
Asian stocks dropped to 3-year lows on Monday as a slump in Chinese equities gathered pace, hastening an exodus from riskier assets as fears of a China-led global economic slowdown churned world markets.
Stocks slid after Beijing offered no big policy move at the weekend to support equities, as was widely expected after last week's 11 per cent plunge.
"Another strong sell-off in Asia overnight is once again spreading fear throughout financial markets at the start of the week, piling the pressure on the People's Bank of China to inject some stimulus into the markets stop the rout," Craig Erlam, market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.