European shares closed down on Monday, with disappointing data weighing on sentiment and protests in Hong Kong affecting some financial firms with exposure to the region.
HSBC shares fall
The pan-European FTSE Eurofirst 300 Index ended the day in the red, closing provisionally down 0.4 percent at 1,371.34 points.
The major laggard was banks stocks, as shares of heavily-weighted HSBC closed down around 2.3 percent, with pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong intensifying. Shares of Standard Chartered also closed lower, with the company having similar exposure to the region.
Basic resources stocks also closed lower as some weak data from China and a stronger dollar hit metal prices.
"There's a real degree of concern building amongst investors, with the risk being that any kneejerk reaction by Beijing could serve to fundamentally shift the business climate," Joao Monteiro, an analyst at Valutrades, warned in a research note earlier on Monday.
In Germany, the DAX closed down around 0.7 percent after annual inflation in the country held steady at 0.8 percent in September.
At the bottom of benchmarks, U.K. company Balfour Beatty tanked, closing down around 15 percent, with the firm warning that its construction business's profit will be $122 million less than expected.
In the U.S. stocks opened lower after the protests in Hong Kong rattled global markets, although they shaved early morning losses as investors looked ahead to a week of economic reports.
A slew of data released from the euro zone didn't do much to lighten the mood on Monday. The euro zone economic sentiment index posted a figure not seen since late 2013 and showed a deterioration from the month before. The European Commission's estimates also showed that inflation expectations for the bloc had decreased.
Meanwhile in France, President Francois Hollande's Socialist party lost control of the upper house of parliament on Sunday. Hollande lost his majority in Sunday's ballot and the far-right National Front party won its first ever seats in the Senate.
Hong Kong protests
In Asia, equity markets started the week mixed, with Hong Kong stocks tumbling on the back of escalating protests. Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests continued for a fourth night on Monday evening, despite riot police firing rounds of tear gas at the weekend. Demonstrators continued to block roads on Monday, leading schools and banks in areas affected to close.
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