European and Asian stock markets closed mostly lower on Monday, despite the fact that China's Shanghai Composite index eked out a small gain ahead of closely-watched GDP numbers that are due to be released on Tuesday.
The Shanghai Composite closed 0.47% higher, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 1.45% and Japan's Nikkei fell by more than 1%.
In London, the FTSE 100 ended the day down 0.42%, while Germany's DAX was down 0.25% and France's CAC-40 was 0.49% lower.
International Brent crude sank to $28.59 a barrel and WTI hovered near $30 a barrel due to fears of increased supply, after the sanctions on Iran were lifted. The Wall Street Journal said many experts now believe crude prices could test the $25 level in the coming weeks.
Besides the depressed price of oil, as Jim Cramer notes, the Fed's hawkish mood is weighing heavily on markets.
In Europe, one bright spot was sportswear maker Adidas (ADDY), whose shares jumped 11% in Frankfurt after it announced that the Henkel AG Chief Executive Karsten Rorsted would replace Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer, who has faced widespread investor discontent, in October.
In mergers and acquisition news, Canadian energy companies Suncor Energy (SU) and Canadian Oil Sands (COSW) confirmed they agreed to merge following a new, increased offer worth $2.92 billion from Suncor.
In European macroeconomic news, France, which has been trying for years to sort out its unemployment problem, will use some fiscal stimulus to create jobs. French President Francois Hollande announced the creation of 500,000 vocational training schemes, additional state subsidies for small companies and a program to boost apprenticeships.
Analysts say that France has entered a period of government spending; with presidential elections due in 15 months, Hollande is desperate to show some growth.
News was not as good for the U.K. jobs market. Swiss bank Credit Suisse (CS) will tell 1800 of its staff in London that their jobs are at risk because of weakness in its fixed income, currencies and commodities business, the Financial Times reports.
London's financial job market has deteriorated steadily over the past six months and the pace accelerated in December, when the number of available positions fell by a third, according to analysis published by the Wall Street Journal.
Tata Steel, the biggest steelmaker in the U.K., also announced that it would cut more than 1000 jobs in its efforts to reduce costs.
On Tuesday, investors will be watching the services component in China's GDP for proof of the success of the country's rebalancing towards a consumer-dominated, rather than exports-driven, recovery.
Eurozone consumer price inflation data will also be released on Tuesday, ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting on Thursday.