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Europe closes lower, led by construction stocks

European shares closed lower on Monday, with construction stocks continuing to weigh heavily after Wall Street opened down.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index ended provisionally lower by 0.6 percent, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and French CAC 40 both closed unofficially down 0.9 percent. The German DAX closed down around 0.6 percent.


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IBEX 35
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Sika, Saint-Gobain tumble on M&A dispute

Shares of Sika—a manufacturer of chemicals for the construction industry—plummeted nearly 22 percent, as a takeover bid by rival Saint-Gobain turned messy. Saint-Gobain was also hit, with shares closing over 6 percent lower.

The Swiss family that owns a controlling stake in Sika have put it up for auction, but executives at the firm say they will quit if the sale goes through. Saint-Gobain CEO Pierre-André de Chalendar told CNBC he was "disappointed" by the wrangling, but that the deal would still go through.

Meanwhile, shares of energy companies underperformed, as oil prices continued sliding on Monday. The commodity has lost around a third of its value since July.

Read MoreOil tumbles after Morgan Stanley cuts forecast

Sentiment in Europe was fairly cautious after some solid gains on Friday. However, Peter Sullivan, head of European equities at HSBC, told CNBC that he expected stock markets to show a slow melt higher for the rest of the year.

"Every month feels like a crisis, but the underlying trend is still upwards," he said.

In other stock news, BHP Billiton closed around 2 percent lower after the mining firm revealed more details on its plan to spin off its assets in the southern hemisphere.

Shares of FTSE 100-listed Hargreaves Lansdown slipped over 4 percent, before paring some losses, after announcing the resignation of financial director Tracey Taylor.

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U.S. stocks were near unchanged on Monday, with benchmarks at near record highs, as investors considered the pros and cons of the falling price of energy.

Asian equities were mostly higher on Monday, as investors brushed off disappointing data from Japan and China.

Revised data showed Japan's economy shrunk by an annualized 1.9 percent in the third quarter, more than initially estimated

Chinese trade data painted a gloomy picture of the world's second-largest economy, with both exports and imports slowing sharply in November.

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