- German investor confidence falls
- UK inflation eases back
- Russia says Ukraine on verge of civil war
FTSE 100: -0.13%
CAC 40: -0.01%
FTSE MIB: -1.05%
IBEX 35: -0.21%
Stoxx 600: -0.18%
European stocks declined as German investor confidence fell for a fourth month in April.
The ZEW Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor an analyst expectations, which aims to forecast economic developments six months in advance, dropped to 43.2 from 46.6 in March, well below analysts' expectations of 45.
On another downbeat note for markets, UK inflation fell to 1.6% in March from 1.7% a month earlier, moving further away from the Bank of England's 2% target.
"The further fall in consumer price index inflation in March suggested that the six-year squeeze on real wages is finally over and took it a step closer to the 1% figure we think it could reach by the end of the year," Capital Economics said.
In the US session later, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's so-called Empire State manufacturing index is expected to have increased to 8.0 this month from 5.61 in March.
Ukraine begins 'anti-terrorist' operation
Russia declared Ukraine on the brink of a civil war today as Kiev said an "anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Moscow separatists was underway.
Pro-Russian activists missed an early Monday morning deadline to retreat from Ukraine's eastern regions or face military action but the crackdown appeared to get off to a slow start.
Interim president Oleksander Turchinov said the operation had started in the eastern Donetsk region, but would happen in stage.
SABMiller, Banca Monte
SABMiller declined as the world's second-biggest brewer said its 39.6% holding in hotel and casino operator Tsogo Sun is not a core part of its operations.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA dropped as Italy's third-largest bank said it may increase the size of a planned share sale to reimburse part of a €4.1bn government bailout.
Siemens AG retreated the Chief Executive of Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin, said German, French and Italian businesses, including the engineering firm, will be hurt by sanctions against Russia.
Osram Licht AG gained as Citigroup recommended investors buy shares
in the lighting manufacturer that spun off from Siemens.
L'Oreal advanced as the world's largest cosmetics maker posted a rise in first-quarter revenue.
Roche Holding edged higher as the world's biggest manufacturer of cancer drugs reported first-quarter sales that met analysts' estimates.
The euro fell 0.17% to $1.3798.
Brent crude futures dipped $0.572 to $108.450 per barrel, according to the ICE.