- US and EU consider tougher sanctions against Russia
- UK retail sales and US GDP data out later
- RBS and Santander US units fail Fed's stress tests
FTSE 100: -0.53%
CAC 40: -0.45%
FTSE MIB: -0.31%
IBEX 35: -0.33%
Stoxx 600: -0.36%
European stocks snapped a two-day rally on concerns over the turmoil in Crimea.
US President Barack Obama said in Brussels yesterday that the US and its European allies stand united against Russia's attempts to divide the West and destabilise Ukraine.
He said Russian President Vladimir Putin was mistaken if he thought he could get away with the annexation of Crimea as it had violated international law.
The US and the European Union (EU) have agreed to work together to prepare possible tougher economic sanctions in response to Russia's behaviour in Ukraine.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to announce a rescue package for Ukraine of about $15bn as early as today in hopes that the initial aid payments could be made by the end of April.
Ukraine's interim government said it will raise gas prices for domestic consumers by 50% in an effort to secure aid from the IMF.
UK retail sales, US GDP
A report on UK retail sales is projected to show a 2.9% year-on-year increase in February following a 4.8% rise a month earlier.
A revised report on GDP is expected to show an annualised 2.7% growth in the fourth quarter, compared to the initial estimate of 2.4%.
Separate data may show initial jobless claims rose to 323,000 in the week ended March 22 from 320,000 the prior period, according to analysts' forecasts.
A report on pending home sales is expected to show a 8.5% year-on-year drop in February following a 9.1% decrease a month earlier.
RBS and Santander fail US stress test
The UK's Royal Bank of Scotland and Spain's Santander slumped after their US units failed the Federal Reserve's stress test.
H&M declined as the European fashion retailer reported a rise in first quarter net income that missed market predictions.
Babcock International Group dropped as the engineering-services company agreed to buy private equity-owned Avincis for £920m to expand in helicopter servicing.
United Internet gained after the German provider of phone and internet services posted a rise in 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) on an increase in sales.
Raiffeisen Bank International advanced after the Austrian bank reported an increase in fourth-quarter net income that exceeded analysts' estimates.
The euro dropped 0.15% to $1.3761.
Brent crude futures fell $0.150 to $106.870 per barrel, according the ICE.