European markets closed down again today, pulled lower by a bevy of disappointing earnings and economic data, marking a bleary start to May for the region.

Eurozone March retail sales were hit by an early Easter. The European statistics office, Eurostat, reported retail sales in the region fell by 0.5% in March, surpassing the expectation of a minor decrease of 0.1%. The March number was affected by a 1.3% drop in the sales of food, drinks and tobacco.

And rating agency Moody's said in a report today that the European Union has been left exposed to shocks and downside credit risk due to unfinished institutional reform.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed 1.2% lower at 6,112.02, dragged down by mining and supermarket shares.

Randgold Resources was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 today, closing 11% down after first-quarter earnings showed gold production had fallen 11% in the period, due to operational problems at two of its African mines.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury (JSAIY) lost 6.3%  after its full-year earnings failed to impress. Sainsbury became a victim of the hyper-competitive grocery sector in the U.K. with its earnings showing a 14% fall due to food-price deflation.

London Stock Exchange Group (LDNXF) lost 4.4% after New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) - Get Report said it did not intend to make an offer to rival current bidder Deutsche Boerse.

The Dax closed almost 1% down at 9,828.25 and the Cac 40 closed at 4,324.23, 1.09% lower.

AB InBev  (BUD) - Get Report was down 1.6% after a decline in Brazilian beer consumption hurt first-quarter earnings. The company expects to complete its acquisition of SABMiller in the second half of this year.

Brazilian woes also dragged down BHP (BHP) - Get Report , which closed more than 9% down in London. Brazilian prosecutors filed to sue the mining company and Vale for $44 billion over the breaching of a dam at a jointly owned iron ore project.