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Europe shares close higher after US data; Ukraine concerns linger

European shares recovered from earlier losses to close higher on Monday, after U.S. retail data surpassed estimates and strong earnings from Citigroup boosted stocks on Wall Street.

Tech selloff continues

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed higher by 0.4 percent at 1,318.58 points on Monday, having traded lower in the morning when the technology sector lead declines.

The technology sector—which closed down around 0.8 percent—has weighed on global bourses in recent trading sessions, with some big name stocks hit on the U.S. Nasdaq Composite.

In Europe, shares of Ericsson fell 3 percent. STMicro also sank 3 percent and Alcatel-Lucent fell 2.5 percent.

However, overall, stocks closed higher as positive news emerged from the U.S.

Shares of Citigroup gained after the U.S. bank posted first-quarter results that beat estimates for earnings per share and and revenue. In general, U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, with equities rebounding after the S&P 500's worst week since 2012.

Read MoreCitigroup profit rises on smaller loss from assets

"The weaker euro is helping to lift European markets off their lows, and Citi, which reported a better number, is up. I think that's the combination for the lift in the markets," said Peter Boockvar, chief market strategist at the Lindsey Group.

In addition, figures from the U.S. Commerce Department had retail sales climbing 1.1 percent in March, adding to hopes the U.S. economy was recovering after harsh weather curbed spending at the beginning of the year.

"The retail sales are a great barometer for the weather-related slowdown, and expectations across the board were beat," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

Read MoreNo more freezer burn: March retail sales spike after frigid winter

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC 40
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IBEX 35
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Ukraine weighs

Events in Ukraine were back in focus for investors, as the country's authorities gave an ultimatum to pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.

Ukraine said it planned to launch a "full-scale anti-terrorist operation" involving the army against the rebels, according to Reuters, which cited acting president Oleksander Turchinov. This came after the separatists took control of the Ukrainian city of Slaviansk on Saturday.

Read MorePro-Russia separatist unrest spreads in Ukraine

Russian shares fell over 1.2 percent on the MIECX Index on Monday.

Glencore shares rise

On the data front, a final reading for March inflation for Italy was confirmed at 0.4 percent (year-on-year).

Euro zone industrial production numbers for February showed an expected uptick of 0.2 percent, compared to the month before.

In stocks news, shares in fish farmer Marine Harvest jumped 3.8 percent after the company reported reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

Glencore-Xstrata shares rose 2 percent after announcing that it had sold a Peruvian mine to a Chinese consortium for $5.9 billion.

Meanwhile, shares of Banca Popolare di Milano fell 8.5 percent after shareholders unexpectedly voted against a new governance reform.

GSK shares slipped 0.6 percent after the BBC reported that the pharmaceutical company was facing a criminal investigation in Poland on allegations of bribery.

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