European stocks followed Asian indices lower on Monday and remained subdued throughout the morning after a key indicator of German business confidence came in short of expectations.
On a quiet day for corporate earnings, sentiment was stifled by concern about China debt and disappointment from the Ifo gauge of German Business Climate . The closely watched index slipped to a reading of 106.6 in April, down from 106.7 and falling short of a consensus forecast for 107.1.
Both the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan will announce rate decisions this week, on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, with some expectations pointing to stimuli from Japanese monetary policy makers.
In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.59% at 6,273.41. In Frankfurt, the Dax dropped 0.93% to 10,277.25 and in Paris the Cac 40 ceded 0.86% to 4,530.53.
S&P 500 mini futures were recently down 0.52%.
Electricité de France fell well over 6% in Paris after announcing a €16 billion ($18 billion) program to strengthen its balance sheet, including a €4 billion capital raising.
Beverage can maker Rexam (REXMY) edged higher in London after agreed bidder Ball (BLL - Get Report) , also a can maker, struck a $3.42 billion deal to sell assets to Ardagh to meet regulatory conditions of the larger £5.4 billion ($7.8 billion) merger.
Betting group GVC was up close to 4% in morning trading in London as it lifted its dividend despite a steep fall in full-year earnings because of the cost of the acquisition of Bwin.
In Amsterdam, Philips (PHG - Get Report) shares were down 4% despite first-quarter earnings beating forecasts as the consumer healthcare devices maker said it will probably hold an IPO for its lighting division rather than sell it to a trade buyer.
On mainland China, the CSI 300 composite closed down 0.41% at 3,162.03.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng slipped 0.83% to 21,289.30.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed down 0.76% at 17,439.30 and the Topix closed down 0.40% at 1,401.83.