European stocks close sharply lower, led by energy

European shares closed sharply lower on Monday as concerns over the health of the euro zone resurfaced and oil prices fell below a 2009 low.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index closed down around 2.2 percent, following a broad slump in all sectors and major country bourses.

Energy stocks were the worst performers, with the European index closing the day nearly 5 percent lower. This came as U.S. crude fell below $50 a barrel on Monday and Brent crude futures hit a 5-½-year low of $53.08.

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Energy, auto stocks weigh


Auto stocks also lagged, driven by shares of BMW. The German automaker closed down around 3.3 percent after reports that it had agreed to pay $820 million in subsidies to Chinese dealers to help recover last year's losses.

Political uncertainty in Greece has resurfaced and that weighed on markets, along with uncertainty as to if the European Central Bank will instigate further monetary easing after its meeting this month.

Greece heads for parliamentary elections this month that could destabilize the country's economic progress and negotiations with its international bailout supervisors.

Greek stocks closed down around 5.6 percent on Monday, with the country's banks weighing heavily on the Athens benchmark stock index.

Read MoreEurope gets ready for another Greek drama