File picture: Alex Grimm

London - Global stock markets recovered Monday as strong economic and corporate news from the US offset concerns about the crisis in Ukraine.

A 1.1 percent rise in US retail sales in March - the biggest in 18 months - boosted sentiment, as did better-than-expected earnings from Citigroup bank.

Investors had earlier been cautious, selling off stocks in Europe, on concern of a flare-up in Ukraine's crisis.

The country said Sunday it was sending troops to try to quash a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian and Western officials have accused Moscow of instigating the protests.

That raised the prospect of more sanctions against Russia, possibly affecting the valuable energy trade.

In Europe, Germany's DAX was down 0.2 percent to 9,296.07 and France's CAC-40 was flat at 4,364.04.

They were not supported by data showing industrial production rose 0.2 percent in February.

Though the rise was up from no growth in January, it is still relatively weak.

Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.1 percent to 6,556.10.

Russia's MICEX index suffered most, dropping 1.5 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.5 percent to 16,103.14 while the broader S&P 500 rose the same rate to 1,824.99.

Investors have been cautious for the past week in the US due to suggestions that technology stocks were overvalued.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index was up 0.4 percent on Monday.

Earlier, in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.4 percent to close at 13,910.16 and Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 1.3 percent to 5,358.9.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was little changed at 2,131.54 while Seoul's Kospi held steady at 1,997.02.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was the region's only major gainer, rising 0.2 percent to 23,048.40.

In other markets, benchmark US crude for May delivery was up 10 cents to $103.84.

The dollar rose to 101.77 yen from 101.63 yen late Friday.

The euro fell to $1.3820 from $1.3852. - Sapa-AP