A global stock selloff, led by the technology sector, weighed on major European bourses on Monday, which all closed lower.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed around 1.2 percent lower, snapping a nine-day winning streak. Its technology sub-index was worst hit, after momentum stocks on Wall Street lost ground on Friday afternoon and continued to fall on Monday.
However, the worst STOXX 600 technology performer was French telecom group Iliad, which closed down around 5.5 percent. Its stock was also hit by the news that its bid to buy Bouygues' mobile network had failed.
In Russia, stocks on the blue-chip MICEX index fell by around 3 percent, with reports of violence in Ukraine. Reuters said on Monday that a Russian solider had shot dead at a Ukrainian naval officer in Crimea, citing a Ukrainian navy spokesperson.
This came after a pro-Russian protest in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, where demonstrators stormed government buildings in several major cities, according to AP news agency.
On the data front in Europe, German industrial output for February rose 0.4 percent on the previous month, beating expectations for a rise of 0.3 percent.
Two major construction firms joined hands on Monday, with Switzerland's Holcim unveiling a deal to buy France's Lafarge, creating the world's biggest cement maker. Shares of Lafarge closed around 2.6 percent higher and Holcim ended 1.6 percent higher.
Meanwhile, Evan Lucas, a market strategist at IG, forecast the start of U.S. earnings season would influence global stocks this week.
"There is a growing feeling that last-quarter earnings are not going to measure up to valuations," he said in a research note on Monday.
"Considering the macro data out over the January to March period and the fact that the market once more hit record all-time highs last week, will earnings back the prices? Is earnings season going to be the reason for a pullback?"
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