* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.2 percent
* Caution ahead of U.S. non-farm payrolls data
* Airlines fall on Asia bird-flu concerns
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) - European shares extended losses
on Friday to touch a one-month low, with recent poor U.S. data
raising concerns that Friday's widely watched non-farm payrolls
data may also disappoint.
Airlines stocks also put downward pressure on the market,
hit by concerns the spread of bird flu in Asia could hurt air
Investors focused on the U.S. data, which is likely to show
employers added 200,000 jobs last month. But recent weak
figures, including Thursday's report showing the number of
Americans filing new unemployment benefit claims at a four-month
high, have raised doubts about March payrolls, due at 1230 GMT.
"We have seen some moderation in the pace of growth in the
United States. The fundamentals are not as supportive as they
were this time last year," Gerard Lane, equity strategist at
Shore Capital, said.
"But the U.S. Federal Reserve's quantitative easing
programme isn't going away and hence it's difficult to see,
despite my caution on the fundamentals, the market coming off
sharply in the near term."
At 0809 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index was down
0.2 percent at 1,177.86 points, after falling to a one-month low
of 1,176.33. The index fell 1.1 percent in the previous session,
but is still up about 4 percent so far this year.
The STOXX Europe 600 Travel and Leisure index fell
1.6 percent, the worst-performing European sector, with airline
stocks falling more than others on concerns about the spread of
bird flu in China.
Air France-KLM, Lufthansa, IAG
and Ryanair fell by between 3.3 and 4.7 percent.
"The sector is reacting to fears of a new pandemic of bird
flu in China, which would hurt air traffic," says a Paris-based
airline sector analyst.
"For now, investors are pricing in a bad scenario, although
if you look back four years ago, Chinese authorities did a good
job dealing with the pandemic back then, and the airline sector
didn't suffer much."
British budget carrier easyJet fell 3.5 percent
despite saying that it would nearly halve its first-half loss.
Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said
that with the share price having soared 380 percent since a low
in September 2011, technical signals were beginning to suggest
traders were losing interest, "questioning whether this flight
has gone too far and the shares (are) running out of fuel."
Charts indicated that European shares would remain
rangebound in the near term.
"The consolidation in the Euro STOXX 50 is likely to expand.
The good performing members of the index are also in a
medium-term overbought situation and have started to
consolidate," Petra von Kerssenbrock, analyst at Commerzbank,
The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index
was up 0.2 percent at 2,626.34 after falling 0.7 percent in the