- Obama suggests Russian isolation
- Manufacturing PMIs fall in Eurozone, China and US
FTSE 100: -0.56%
CAC 40: -1.36%
FTSE MIB: -1.65%
IBEX 35: -1.47%
Stoxx 600: -1.08%
European stocks declined as world leaders met to discuss the crisis in Crimea and as manufacturing activity fell in the Eurozone, China and the US.
Leaders from the US, European Union (EU), Japan, China and others convened in Europe today as Russian soldiers stormed Ukraine's border.
US President Barack Obama sort support to isolate Russia over its seizure of Crimea. Ukraine told its remaining troopers to leave the region after Russian forces threatened their lives.
The US and EU have imposed sanctions over Moscow's decision to sign a treaty annexing Crimea from Ukraine, which analysts believe could push Russia towards a recession.
Banks, including state-run VTB Capital, think Russia's economy will shrink for at least two quarters as penalties for accepting Crimea back as a sovereign state dampens investor sentiment and raises the cost of borrowing.
Weak manufacturing data
Markit's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for Eurozone manufacturing in March dropped to 53 from 53.2 in February, in line with analysts' expectations. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
The services PMI came in at 52.6 in March, in line with both the previous month and with forecasts.
The Composite PMI, which combines services and manufacturing, dipped to 53.2 this month from 53.3 previously, meeting the consensus estimate.
In China, a preliminary report on PMI manufacturing in March decreased to 48.1 from 48.5 in February. Economists had pencilled in a figure of 49.7. It marked the fifth consecutive fall, fuelling concerns over a slowdown in the world's second largest economy.
The PMI for manufacturing in March declined to 55.5 in March from 57.1 a month earlier. The consensus forecast was for 56.5.
Stada Arzneimittel hit by Crimea crisis
Stada Arzneimittel edged lower as the maker of generic drugs said it no longer expects to achieve its forecast for 2014, citing the strong devaluation of currencies in Russia and Ukraine amid the Crimea crisis.
Credit Suisse Group tumbled as Switzerland's second-largest lender agreed to pay $885m to settle lawsuits by the Federal Housing Finance Agency over mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
International Consolidated Airlines Group was down after Morgan Stanley removed the parent company of British Airways from its Europe Best Ideas list.
Deutsche Post gained following a report that the European postal service will increase its mail profit target by 60%.
Czech utility CEZ AS advanced after the nation's Finance Minister said the government is seeking a 100% dividend payout.
Centrica and SSE slumped following reports the UK's six biggest utilities may be split this week when energy regulator Ofgem calls in the competition watchdog.
Royal KPN declined after Citigroup lowered the Dutch telecommunications operator to 'neutral' from 'buy'.
The euro fell 0.03% to $1.3790.
Brent crude futures rose $0.009 to $106.930 per barrel, according to the ICE.