- Ukraine crisis hurts global stocks
- Eurozone manufacturing activity rises
- IMF urges ECB to take action on jobs and inflation
FTSE 100: -1.49%
CAC 40: -2.66%
FTSE MIB: -3.34%
IBEX 35: -2.25%
Stoxx 600: -2.26%
European stocks declined the most in more than a month as investors deserted riskier assets amid rising geopolitical tensions in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has won parliamentary approval to send troops to invade Ukraine's Crimea region.
US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among the leaders warning Russia of the consequences of military conflict.
A Ukrainian Defence Ministry official said Russia's Black Sea fleet had given Ukrainian forces in Crimea until 03:00 GMT on Tuesday to surrender or face a military assault, Interfax news agency reported.
The political turmoil began after Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovych was ousted as President of Ukraine following clashes with protesters in Kiev which left at least 82 dead.
The Eurozone's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for manufacturing rose to 53.2 in February from 53 in January, surprising analysts who had expected the reading to remain unchanged. A level above 50 signals expansion.
UK manufacturing PMI climbed to 56.9 last month from 56.7 in January, ahead of the consensus estimate of 56.8.
HSBC's China manufacturing PMI fell to 48.5 in February from 49.5 in January, as expected, fuelling fears of a slowdown in the world's second biggest economy. It followed an official government report on March 1st which showed the PMI for manufacturing in February dropped to 50.2 from 50.5 the month before.
Markit's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the US manufacturing sector rose to 57.1 in February from 53.7 in the month before. That was clearly above the preliminary or 'flash' estimate of 56.7.
IMF calls on ECB to take action
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde has recommended the ECB take additional monetary policies to address high unemployment and low inflation.
In a speech at the Global Forum Spain 2014 today in Bilbao, Spain, she noted that the ECB has already taken strong measures, but insisted that more should be done.
The ECB will hold its next policy meeting on Thursday and consensus is divided on if the central bank will take action and points to a diverse range of possible policy actions.
Credit Suisse believes the ECB will keep its policy on hold, but expects the monetary authority will lower its estimates for inflation this year and next.
Russian companies slump
Companies with exposure to Russia tumbled including the country's biggest brewer Carlsberg.
Cancer drug maker Roche retreated after a study showed no clinical benefits of its METLung lung cancer treatment.
Nokian Renkaat Oyj dropped as data showed the Nordic region's largest tyremaker received about 35% of its revenue from the Russian region in 2012.
Bouygues slumped as Chief Executive Officer Martin Bouygues met with French President Francois Hollande to seek government support for a purchase of SFR, according to Le Journal du Dimanche.
Metro was lower as Germany's biggest retailer said it plans to proceed with an initial public offering of its Russian cash and carry business to raise money for expansion.
The euro fell 0.23% to $1.3770.
Brent crude futures rose $2.092 to $111.400 per barrel, according to data from the ICE.