In economic news, the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research said its business climate indicator for Germany rose to 87.3 in July from 85.9 in June. That was the fourth consecutive month of increase and topped expectations for a reading of 86.5.
Crude for September rose $0.11 to $67.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.08% lower at 907.39 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index declined 0.09% to 2,248.15 points.
Around Europe, France's CAC 40 index fell 0.22% to 3,366.45 and Germany's DAX index slipped 0.34% to 5,229.36, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.37% to 4,576.61.
Ericsson, the world's largest maker of mobile phone networks, dropped 7.9% after the company reported second quarter profit that fell sharply from last year and missed analysts' estimate.
Alcatel-Lucent, the world's largest maker of telecommunication equipments, fell 2%, while Nokia, the world's largest maker of mobile phones, declined 1.9% and STMicroelectronics, Europe's biggest chipmaker, lost 0.8%.
Syngenta, the world's the biggest producer of agricultural chemicals, sank 6.7% after the company's first-half profit came in below analysts' expectations.
German drugmaker Merck KGaA tumbled 14.7% after European Union regulators rejected the company's top-selling oncology drug Erbitux for a form of lung cancer.
On the other hand, Vodaphone, the world's biggest mobile phone company, rose 2.9% after the company said its first quarter revenue rose 9.3% from last year.
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