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May 6 (Reuters) – European shares fell sharply on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump unexpectedly ratcheted up trade tensions between the world’s largest economies by vowing to hike tariffs on Chinese goods by this week, prompting investors to flee riskier assets.

Germany’s DAX – the most sensitive to China and trade war fears – and France’s CAC led declines, down 1.7 percent and 1.8 percent respectively. The pan-European STOXX 600 index shed 1.2 percent by 0720 GMT, its steepest fall in six weeks.

Bourses in Italy, Spain and France also fell more than 1 percent while markets in Britain remained shut for a bank holiday.

Hopes of a U.S.-China trade