- On Monday, Bitcoin steadied after surging more than 20 percent over the weekend to more than $45,000
LONDON: Stock markets were lower on Monday, weighed down by a slump in oil prices over concerns about the economic impact of rising infections from Covid's highly contagious Delta variant.
"Oil prices have tumbled again as the spread of Delta and restrictions that come with it, particularly in China, is causing real concern," said OANDA Europe analyst Craig Erlam.
"We're seeing surges in a variety of countries which will likely weigh on the recovery in the coming months, just as it was starting to gather pace."
London's commodities-heavy FTSE 100 was in the red, slipping by around 0.1 percent, and stock prices in both Frankfurt and Paris were also weaker.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Wall Street edged lower in early trade as investors also monitored progress on a large infrastructure package nearing approval in Washington, traders said.
Commodities such as oil "have been hurt by growing concerns over the Delta variant of the coronavirus," said ThinkMarkets analyst Fawad Razaqzada.
"Rising cases and more lockdowns have had a direct impact on travel and thus oil demand recovery."
Oil prices were down by nearly 3.0 percent on Monday.
The dollar was mixed against its biggest rivals.
On Wall Street, the Dow and S&P 500 -- which had ended last week at records following strong jobs data -- were both marginally negative after the opening bell on Monday.
Key reports this week include an inflation read from the consumer price index on Wednesday, as well as earnings from Disney on Thursday.
Also in investors' sights will be the possible approval in the Senate of a $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill backed by President Joe Biden after it cleared a key procedural vote on Sunday.
On Monday, Bitcoin steadied after surging more than 20 percent over the weekend to more than $45,000.
Analysts said cryptocurrencies were enjoying a recovery after weeks of being buffeted by Chinese moves to crack down on the sector.
On the corporate front, shares in Deliveroo shot up nearly 10 percent after the British takeaway app revealed German rival Delivery Hero had bought a five-percent stake in the group.
Shares jumped to £3.56, but were still far from Deliveroo's flotation price of £3.90 in March.
Key figures around 1345 GMT
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,113.16 points
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.3 percent at 15,719.14
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 6,815.54
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 35,103.20
EURO STOXX 50: FLAT at 4,175.47
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.4 percent at 26,283.40 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.1 percent at 3,494.63 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1762 from $1.1765 Friday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3868 from $1.3877
Euro/pound: UP at 84.79 pence from 84.74 pence
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.14 yen from 110.21 yen
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.8 percent at $68.50 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.8 percent at $66.38 per barrel