By Richard Hubbard
LONDON (Reuters) - European shares edged back off four and a half year highs on Monday as weak economic data from China and worries about Italy took the shine off strong U.S. jobs numbers last week.
The dollar was still rising on the jobs data, trading near a 3-1/2-year high against the yen and at a three-month high on the euro after larger than expected employment growth in the U.S. boosted optimism over recovery in the world's largest economy.
But Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index (.FTEU3) was down 0.1 percent at 1,193.49 points, away from September 2008 peaks, after China reported weak factory output and consumer demand in February .
"This data shows that the economy is in the process of a mild recovery and that it is still fragile," Xu Gao, chief macro-economic analyst at Everbright Securities said.
London's FTSE 100 (.FTSE), Paris's CAC-40 (.FCHI) and Frankfurt's DAX (.GDAXI) also opened around 0.1 percent lower.
Meanwhile Italian shares fell around 0.8 percent (.FTMIB) and 10-year government bond yields rose six basis points to 4.65 percent after ratings agency Fitch downgraded Italy late on Friday, citing current political uncertainty.
Commodities prices were caught between growing optimism about more solid demand as the global economy improves and the strengthening dollar, which makes dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for non-dollar holders.
Brent crude fell 35 cents to $110.50 a barrel, after ending last week marginally higher to snap three straight weekly losses. U.S. oil slipped 21 cents to $91.74, after ending 39 cents higher on Friday.
(Reporting by Richard Hubbard; editing by Philippa Fletcher)