European shares close flat, easyJet weighs

European shares closed flat on Monday, at the start of a week packed with important economic data, starting with euro zone inflation figures.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed provisionally up 0.08 percent at 1,372.36 points. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 was flat, while the French benchmark Cac 40 closed unofficially 0.1 percent down.

The German Dax ended unofficially up 0.4 percent. The Spanish Ibex and the Italian FTSE MIB were among the worst country performers, ending down around 0.7 percent and 0.2 percent respectively.

Euro zone inflation came in at 0.5 percent year-on-year in June, unchanged from May. The reading came ahead of a European Central Bank (ECB) monetary policy meeting later this week. Persistently low inflation has been a key concern for the central bank, due to fears it could derail the region's sluggish recovery.

Read MoreEuro zone inflation steady ahead of ECB meeting

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In stocks news, Dutch conglomerate Philips was one of the best performers, closing up around 4.1 percent. It came after the company announced it would merge its components and automotive lighting divisions into a standalone division which could then be spun off.

Vestas shares closed up roughly 2.9 percent after the Danish group received a significant U.S. turbine order.

Meanwhile, French bank BNP Paribas is expected to announce a record fine of $8.9 billion for violating U.S. sanctions over dealing with regimes like Sudan.

FTSE gainers and losers

Drinks maker Diageo was one of the biggest gainers on the FTSE 100, up 1.0 percent, on rumors it might merge with U.K. rival SABMiller.

Pharmaceutical groups Shire and GSK were in focus. In the case of Shire, this was due to the arrival in London of executives from AbbVie, ahead of a possible raised takeover bid. With regards to GSK, it emerged that the company's board was aware of corruption allegations in China months before they were made public.

Read MoreSex tape adds to murk of GSK China scandal

Shares in easyJet closed down roughly 6.4 percent following a downgrade by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Outside Europe

U.S. stocks wobbled on Monday. The S&P 500 was on track for a sixth quarterly gain, after a report showed existing-home sales jumped 6.1 percent in April, the biggest monthly gain in four years.

On Tuesday, China is due to release its official purchasing manager's index for June, which could reach a six-month high. Thursday will also bring both U.S. non-farm payrolls data and the ECB's monetary policy meeting.

Tensions in Iraq remain in focus after government forces attempted to dislodge militant insurgents from the northern city of Tikrit on Sunday. Brent crude oil traded down 0.8 percent to start the week and futures have now retraced around one-third of the June price spike.

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