Traders work at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange
Traders work at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 2, 2012. REUTERS

European markets fell Monday as investor sentiment turned negative after fears of the debt crisis affecting the euro zone were revived undermining the optimism over the stimulus measures announced by policymakers to bolster economic growth.

The French CAC 40 index was down 0.58 percent or 20.82 points to 3560.76. Shares of ArcelorMittal dropped 2.58 percent and those of Renault SA fell 2.46 percent.

London's FTSE 100 index dropped 0.36 percent or 21.26 points to 5894.29. Shares of Rio Tinto Plc declined 1.17 percent and those of Kazakhmys Plc fell 1.16 percent.

The German DAX 30 index fell 0.37 percent or 27.75 points to 7384.38. Shares of Allianz SE dropped 2.07 percent and shares of Volkswagen AG declined 0.56 percent.

Spain's IBEX 35 was down 1.01 percent or 82.20 points to 8072.30. Shares of Bankinter SA fell 0.88 percent and those of Telefonica SA dropped 1.42 percent.

The markets continued to digest last week's announcement by the U.S. Federal Reserve of another large scale asset purchase program. Last week, the markets rallied after the Fed announced an open-ended purchasing of $40 billion per month of the mortgage-backed securities until the labor markets improved substantially. The Fed also extended its forward guidance of the low Fed funds rate level to mid 2015 from late 2014.

"Data and events this week are unlikely to change this perspective although the risk of profit taking has grown given the pace and magnitude of recent moves," Credit Agricole said in a note.

At the informal Eurogroup meeting September 14, the euro zone finance ministers welcomed the decision by the German constitutional court, paving the way for an implementation of the European Stability Mechanism by the end of October 2012.

Meanwhile, there are concerns that the rising tensions within the Troika consisting of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund could prompt the withdrawal of Greece's bailout. The IMF is putting pressure on the euro zone to provide Greece with a third bailout or restructure some of its debt. If the euro zone governments stand firm and refuse to do either, the IMF could effectively terminate the bailout by withdrawing its support.