A slump in the share prices of carmaker Volkswagen and insurer RSA held back European stock markets on Monday, with major regional indexes making only minor progress.

Volkswagen slid 14 percent after Volkswagen told U.S. dealers to halt sales of some 2015 diesel cars after regulators found software it designed for the affected vehicles gave false emissions data.

RSA slumped 22 percent following Zurich Insurance's abandonment of its proposed bid for RSA, after Zurich forecast a $200 million loss in its general insurance business due to explosions at the Chinese port of Tianjin.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index and the euro zone's blue-chi Euro STOXX 50 indexes were both roughly flat, although the drop in Volkswagen impacted automakers and Germany's DAX.