Europe ends under pressure; Brent hovers near 11-year low

European markets came under pressure Monday to close lower, as Spanish stocks took a tumble and the rout in oil prices continued to trouble investors.


The pan-European STOXX 600 reversed earlier gains to close 0.8 percent down provisionally. London's FTSE failed to hold onto gains, closing down 0.3 percent while France's CAC and Germany's DAX finished over 1 percent down, despite a somewhat positive trading session from U.S.

Brent hovers near 11-year low

Brent futures fell by around 2 percent during early trade Monday to as low as $36.05 per barrel, their weakest since July 2004. Around the close, Brent was slightly above this, at $36.16 a barrel.

U.S. crude dropped to around $34.40 a barrel in early trade, its lowest since 2009, and fluctuated above and below this throughout the session. It last stood around $34.55. Oil and gas stocks came under pressure in late trade, however Tullow Oil and Subsea 7 maintaining session gains.

"I think what we're seeing is an overhang of weak sentiment, excess supply, we've seen a number of bearish signals out in the oil market…all of these adding to these to the sense of a global glut in oil," John Bilton, global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, told CNBC on Monday.

But Bilton added that it's a time of year with low liquidity, predicting that oil prices could stabilize next year.

China policy news boosts miners

The Chinese government said it was to focus on "supply-side" structural reform, keep monetary and fiscal policy accommodative, cut tax next year for companies and push to reduce industrial overcapacity, according to Dow Jones, citing a Chinese official.

Metal prices have been under pressure this year due to concerns of oversupply from China and low demand. The news to cut overcapacity on Monday boosted mining stocks.

Read MoreChina pledges policy support to economy, reform in 2016

Meanwhile, Glencore traded as high as 7 percent, helped by the fact Citigroup raised its price target for the stock. Anglo American also posted strong gains, however both stocks pared those gains, with Glencore closing up 2.9 percent and Anglo American finishing around 1.5 percent higher.

Auto stocks also got a boost as many count China as one of their biggest markets. Germany's Volkswagen and Porsche were also sharply higher in trade, but pared gains to close only slightly higher.

Spanish stocks tumble after election

In other news, in a Spanish election on Sunday, the ruling People's Party won most of the votes but fell short of a majority. The vote heralded weeks of talks to form a coalition government, with neither Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservatives nor left-wing parties winning a clear mandate to govern, Reuters reported.

Spain's IBEX 35 index took a bit hit as a result, closing over 3.5 percent lower due to the political uncertainty in the country.

"It rather seems that the troubles for the euro area are never ending and the election in Spain over the weekend has just reminded us of this element once again," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, said in a note on Monday.

Spanish banks in particular came under pressure with certain stocks dominating the bottom of the STOXX 600. Banco Popular and Caixabank ended sharply lower, both down 6.9 percent or more.

Ericsson surges on Apple deal

In individual stock news, Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson was one of Europe's top performers after it said it had signed a patent license agreement with Apple that will end ongoing patent infringement issues between the companies. Ericsson failed to hold onto session highs, closing up near 3 percent.

Swiss pesticide maker Syngenta saw shares above 2 percent on speculation that ChemChina has raised its offer for the firm. The stock however pared, closing slightly higher.