European stocks closed lower on Monday, as investors prepared for what is expected to be a tough earnings season.
Europes bank stocks were among the worst performers, down 0.6 percent. Germanys Commerzbank slumped to the bottom of the sector amid ongoing merger talks with Deutsche Bank. A report said Monday that regulators have set strict standards for a deal, including demands for a detailed workforce reduction plan. Shares dropped 2.5 percent.