European stocks close lower on China, Fed jitters

European stocks close lower on China, Fed jitters

European stocks closed lower on Monday, tracking U.S. and Asian shares down on nagging concerns about slowing growth in China and U.S. monetary policy.

Germany's DAX ended the day 0.4 percent lower and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.5 percent. Italy's FTSE MIB closed down 0.6 percent. London's FTSE 100 was closed on Monday due to a public holiday.

According to Reuters, European stock markets were on track for their worst month in almost four years.

Wall Street shares meanwhile opened about 1 percent lower, with investors globally eyeing developments in China, U.S. Federal Reserve policy and oil prices after market turbulence last week.

A trader at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday June 29, 2015.
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The renewed fall in global markets came after China's Shanghai Composite fell more than 3 percent in intraday trading and other Asian equity indices fell into negative territory on a report in the Financial Times that Beijing had ended the large-scale share purchase program that it was using to support the market.

Beijing may now switch its focus from intervention to stopping those it believes are "destabilizing the market," the FT reported.

Still, the Shanghai Composite pared most of its falls to end the day down 0.8 percent.

Comments from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer regarding the likelihood of a September interest rate hike in the U.S. also weighed on investor sentiment.

Speaking to CNBC on Friday, Fischer said it was too early to determine whether recent market turmoil had made a September rate hike more or less compelling.

Stocks to watch

Shares in Italian energy firm Eni surged up to 4 percent on Monday after the company said it had discovered potentially one of the world's largest natural-gas fields off the Egyptian coast.

After falling earlier in the day, oil prices turned higher after data showed lower U.S. crude output and OPEC signaled concern about falling prices.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is about the drop in oil prices and is ready to talk to other producers, the oil group said in a publication on Monday.

Still, volatility in oil prices weighed on energy and oil companies. German firm RWE fell more than 4 percent and both Total and Repsol suffered steep falls.

Elsewhere, data showed euro zone August inflation came in at 0.2 percent, unchanged from the previous month.