European shares close lower on oil fall, Greece

European shares closed lower on Tuesday as lower oil prices and political uncertainty in Greece weighed on investor sentiment.

All major European country bourses closed lower with losses accelerating during the session. Trade was thin due to holiday season.

The benchmark U.K. FTSE 100 index closed unofficially down 1.3 percent. The French CAC and German DAX ended down 1.6 percent and 1.2 percent respectively.


All major sectors fell, with oil and gas stocks the biggest laggards.

Brent crude oil extended losses into a fourth session on Tuesday, with prices just above $57 per barrel. This was despite ongoing output disruptions in Libya that might have been expected to bolster prices.

Read MoreOil falls further—but Saudi Arabia doesn't care

Greece in focus

Investors eyed developments in Greece, after the country's parliament failed to elect a president on Monday. General elections are now expected in January, potentially disrupting Greece's hard-won economic and political progress.

Anxiety over oil and Greece dragged most Asian indices lower on Tuesday, with Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong hitting fresh lows. Wall Street stocks also traded mostly lower.

In individual stocks news, shares of U.K. clothing retailer Next jumped up to 3.9 percent after the company released a trading statement Tuesday and announced a special dividend for shareholders.

On the data front, Spanish retail sales figures for November rose 1.9 percent (year-on-year) and the country's consumer price index fell more than expected on Tuesday with a year-on-year fall of 1.1 percent in December.

Read MoreEurope deflation fears are back after weak data

In the U.K., the Nationwide House Price index showed that annual home price growth slowed again in November for a fourth straight month.

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