European stocks finished firmly in the red on Monday as investors failed to shake off concerns over a potential interest rate hike in September by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Traders have been closely following comments by Fed officials for clues on the timing of a rate hike in the U.S. Recently, Fed speakers have sounded more hawkish. On Monday, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart delivered a speech in which he said a "serious discussion" on raising rates was warranted at the central bank's upcoming meeting. Fed Governor Lael Brainard is scheduled to speak after the European market close on Monday.
On Friday, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said the U.S. economy had proven to be more resilient to exogenous risks and that "gradual tightening is likely to be appropriate."