- UK Budget released
- BoE unveils meeting minutes
- UK jobs data out
- Fed makes policy decision
FTSE 100: -0.34%
CAC 40: -0.35%
FTSE MIB: -0.52%
IBEX 35: -0.13%
Stoxx 600: -0.18%
European stocks slid ahead of the release of the UK Budget; the Bank of England's meeting minutes, UK jobs data and the Federal Reserve's policy decision.
UK Chancellor George Osborne will at 12:30 GMT present the Budget 2014-15 which will outline the government's revised spending and taxes.
The government has already announced some of its plans including that corporation tax rate will be cut from 23% to 21% and will go down again to 20% in April next year for companies that generate more than £1.5m profit.
A number of tax reductions will be introduced as the government tries to win favour ahead of the 2015 general election.
On Sunday, Osborne also announced the government would extend by four years the Help to Buy scheme to boost mortgage lending. The programme has helped improve the housing market but it has been criticised for unsustainable growth as demand outstrips supplies.
Alongside the Budget, the Office Budget of Responsibility is anticipated to announce the largest annual upgrade to economic growth since the millennium.
Elsewhere in the UK, the BoE will release the minutes of its last policy meeting. Reports on UK jobless claims, claimant count, employment change and the unemployment rate are also due out.
In the US, the Federal Reserve will wrap up its two-day policy meeting.
Analysts expect the central bank will slash monthly bond purchases by a further $10bn to $55bn and keep its benchmark rate at 0.25%. The meeting will be followed up with a press conference with Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
EU divided on sanctions against Russia
European leaders are divided on how to punish Moscow after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to annex Crimea from Ukraine.
Following Sunday's referendum, which saw Crimean locals vote overwhelmingly to join Russia, Putin and other officials moved to formally accept the accession, defying sanctions imposed by European Union (EU) and US leaders yesterday who labelled the vote as illegal.
US President Barack Obama has called for a meeting with G7 today in Netherlands to discuss further action.
EU's Van Rompuy will travel to Moscow to meet Putin on Wednesday before European leaders meet in Brussels the following day to discuss sanctions against Russia. They will mull over sanctions, ranging from possible arms embargo to restrictions on natural-gas deliveries.
Inditex gained after posting 2013 profit in line with analysts' estimates.
Ophir Energy slumped after saying it failed to encounter significant hydrocarbons at the Padouck Deep-1 well in Gabon.
Brenntag advanced after the largest distributor of chemicals s proposed a three-for-one stock split and announced a dividend payout that exceeded analysts' forecasts.
Barclays rallied following reports the bank plans to sell its index business.
The euro dropped 0.16% to $1.3912.
Brent crude futures fell $0.338 to $106.430 per barrel, according to the ICE.