Europe shares close lower as Ukraine violence persists

European shares closed lower on Monday as violence escalated in Ukraine over the weekend and as weak Chinese manufacturing data weighed on investor sentiment.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed down 0.3 percent, with the FTSE 100 closed for a public holiday.

Troubles in the Ukraine continued to spook markets, with most European bourses closing lower as Russia warned Ukraine of "catastrophic consequences" unless it halted a military operation against pro-Russian rebels. The French Cac was an exception to the rule, closing unofficially 0.1 percent higher.

On Monday, the Ukrainian government reported that four paramilitary policy had been killed near the rebel stronghold of Slaviansk. Plus, the interior ministry drafted a new special forces unit into the southern port city of Odessa.

Clashes had broken out in six cities in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, as pro-Russian forces stormed a police station in Odessa, freeing close to 70 activists that were being held there. This followed the death of 46 people in the conflict on Friday, marking the bloodiest day since the ousting of former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovich in February.

Russian stocks closed lower by 0.5 percent on Monday.

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Shares news

Credit Suisse closed around 2.2 percent lower after reports that U.S. authorities had put pressure on the bank to plead guilty to helping wealthy Americans hide untaxed money in Swiss bank accounts.

Meanwhile, General Electric made tender offers to buy shares worth up to $389 million in two of Alstom's India units, following its $16.9 billion bid to buy the French group's energy unit. Alstom shares closed almost 1.8 percent lower following the news.