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European shares fall after China manufacturing contraction

LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - European stocks fell on Tuesday after weak manufacturing data from China raised fresh concerns over the health of its economy and hit Asian markets.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 1.3 percent at 1,414.74 points by 0706 GMT, with basic resources stocks down 2 percent, the top sectoral faller.

Activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted at its fastest pace in three years in August, an official survey showed on Tuesday, reinforcing fears of a sharper slowdown in the world's second-largest economy despite a flurry of government support measures. The data sent Asian shares lower.

"At a time when the People's Bank of China is already making big efforts to shore up the economy, this is very concerning," Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

"It's no surprise that people expect the economy to slow well below 7 percent in the second half of the year, unless of course we see further monetary and fiscal stimulus measures, which is likely." (Reporting by Alistair Smout)