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Europe stocks close down after weak German data

European stocks closed lower on Monday following weak industrial production data for Germany, which stoked fears of a slowdown in Europe's largest economy.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed down 0.9 percent at 1,382.13. Last week, the index rose 1.7 percent - its biggest rise in over three months - boosted by strong U.S. jobs growth.

Britain's FTSE ended the day down around 0.6 percent, the German DAX was approximately 1 percent lower and France's CAC 40 fell around 1.4 percent.

It came after Germany released its industrial production index for May, showing output fell 1.8 percent month-on-month.

"Earlier risk factors like slowing emerging market economies, including China, and geopolitical conflicts do have an impact on the German economy," Carsten Brzeski, senior economist at ING said. "Today's industrial production data adds evidence that the German industry is currently treading water."

Later on Monday, euro zone finance ministers will meet in Brussels.

Britain's Chancellor George Osborne and Foreign Secretary William Hague, meanwhile, began a two-day trip to India. They are looking to open up investment opportunities for U.K. firms in India's defense and infrastructure sector, and attract Indian investment into Britain.

Global outlook

Investors are slowly shifting their attention to second-quarter earnings, with U.S. aluminium producer Alcoa kicking off proceedings on Tuesday.

In the U.S., stocks fell on Monday, with Wall Street retreating from all-time highs, as investors looked to the start of the earnings season and considered whether the Federal Reserve would hike interest rates sooner than expected.

Over the weekend, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde hinted the organization may cut its global growth forecasts, as she warned that a pick-up in economic activity could prove "less robust than expected" amid "depressed" levels of investment.

Lufthansa soars

In stocks news, shares in Lufthansa bucked the downward trend after signing a partnership deal with Air China. The stock ended the day slightly higher.

Shares in Weir Group rose after Citigroup upgraded the group to "buy" from "neutral" and raised its price target on the company. The stock was up as much as 3 percent before paring gains, and ended the day 0.74 percent higher.

French oil major Total fell around 1.9 percent after it said margins would be affected by a weak performance of its refining business

In the Netherlands, shares in mail company PostNL soared around 18 percent after the group raised its 2014 outlook.

Reuters contributed to this story

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FTSE
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DAX
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CAC 40
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AA
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LHA
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WEIR
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PNL
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FP
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FTSE EUR 300
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