China's National People's Congress came without any significant stimulus announcements. China's growth target for 2024, announced by Premier Li Qiang, is seen as optimistic due to a deep real estate crisis, deflationary pressures, weak household consumption, and increasing geopolitical and trade tensions with the West.

This sent oil and metal prices down. Shares of commodity majors such as BP, Shell and Glencore fell about a percent each.

The pound also trades lower ahead of Wednesday's UK budget presentation by Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt. Investors are looking ahead to a busy week with several political, economic, and monetary events that could influence market volatility. The European Central Bank's (ECB) interest rate decision on Thursday and the US jobs report on Friday are among the key events. Additionally, the "Super Tuesday" primaries in the US and President Joe Biden's State of the Union address on Thursday will be closely watched.

Equipement rental company Ashtead dropped 6.8% after it forecast full-year group rental revenue at the lower end of 11%-13% growth range.

Spirent Communications rose after U.S.-based group Viavi Solutions Inc agreed to buy it for 1.01 billion pounds.

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