Upbeat factory data
HSBC's index of Chinese manufacturing activity crossed the key 50-level for the first time in four months in August, in line with last week's flash reading. The data followed the government's more bullish official purchasing manager's index (PMI) released at the weekend. It hit a sixteen month high in August.
The European basic resources sector was broadly higher by 2.50 percent on the news from China, with Vedanta Resources and Anglo American higher by 2.15 percent and 3.9 percent respectively.
In addition, data released for the euro zone showed manufacturing rose at its fastest pace since May 2011. A survey carried out by Markit said the manufacturing PMI jumped to 51.4 in August, from 50.3 in July.
In the U.K., activity in the country's manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace in two-and-a-half years during August, another clear indication that the economic recovery is gathering pace.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to score a clear victory over her main election rival Peer Steinbrueck during a televised pre-election debate on Sunday, according to viewer polls. She remains the strong favorite win the September 22 election, however.
(Read More: Merkel's opponent rapping on German parliament's door)
Also in Europe, Italy introduced a levy on high-frequency and equity derivative trades on Monday, the second stage of a process started earlier this year to tax financial transactions.
(Read More: Italy launches taxon high-frequency transactions)