European stocks edged lower Monday, as weak Chinese trade data weighed on mining shares.

Even so, wider losses were limited as investors continued to digest Friday's better than expected U.S. jobs report.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index was 0.1% lower in early trade. Germany's DAX fell 0.4%, while France's CAC-40 was up 0.5% and London's FTSE 100 was flat.

Mining shares were among the weakest performers, with the Stoxx Europe 600 basic resources index off 1.9%.

In commodities markets, gold was 0.5% lower at $1334.50 an ounce, while Brent Crude fell 0.8% to $108.15 a barrel.

Earlier, Shanghai and Hong Kong had led Asian markets lower after Chinese exports slumped 18.1% from a year earlier in February, in sharp contrast to the 5% increase that was expected by economists. Although the sharp drop raised concerns over Asia's largest economy, distortions due to the long Lunar New Year holidays could have contributed to the surprise fall.

Foreign exchange markets were largely quiet, with emerging market currencies which have been vulnerable in the recent past to concerns over Chinese growth showing little reaction to the data.