(Reuters) - Europe's markets closed mostly lower in thin trade on Monday, with miners among the biggest fallers as weak Chinese housing data fueled worries about demand, and on further fading of optimism about a solution to the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of European shares fell 0.1 percent to a provisional close of 956.32 points.
On Monday, London's FTSE 100 closed down 23 points to 5,365, Germany's DAX closed fown 31 points to 5,671, and France's CAC 40 finished two points higher at 2,974.
Miners lost ground, with the STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources Index down 1 percent. Signs that the property market was cooling in top metals consumer China worsened the outlook for industrial metals demand and weighed on market sentiment.
On the euro zone front, European finance ministers are trying to enhance the IMF's arsenal and press on with a drive for tighter fiscal rules, but doubts have grown about the EU's plan and strategists said benefits would take a long time to materialise.
It's very much long term. The market's focus is on the short term, said Ian King head of international equities at Legal & General, which has 356 billion pounds ($552 billion) under management.
The market was also reacting to ratings agency Fitch concluding on Friday that a 'comprehensive solution' to the crisis was technically and politically beyond reach. It warned that six euro zone economies including Italy and Spain could be hit with credit downgrades in the near future.