European stocks fell, heading for their first December decline since 2008, as energy shares slid.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.9 percent to 341.02 at the close of trading. A gauge of oil and gas companies lost 1.8 percent, posting the biggest loss among 19 industry groups as oil prices traded near a five-year low. The broader European gauge has fallen 1.8 percent this month, with Greek equities slumping on concern about the implications of early parliamentary elections.

The Stoxx 600 has trimmed its annual advance to 3.9 percent. Greece™s ASE Index slid 15 percent this month as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed a third time to get enough backing for his presidential candidate, prompting him to recommend snap parliamentary elections. He met with President Karolos Papoulias in Athens today to request elections on Jan. 25. The opposition Syriza party leads polls as it pushes to abandon the austerity measures tied to Greece™s bailout.

Source : Bloomberg