Paris - European shares tumbled in early trade on Monday as escalating tensions in Ukraine prompted investors to stick to the sidelines.

At 10:05 SA time, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 1.7 percent at 1,325.81 points, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 2.1 percent, at 3,084.69 points.

Ukraine mobilised for war on Sunday after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighbour, sending Asian stocks tumbling and oil prices jumping.

“Investors had under-estimated the risks of an escalation in Ukraine, so the events over the weekend is a wake-up call for the market,” said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading at Global Equities, in Paris. - Reuters