Stock markets were mostly lower on Monday, weighed down by a slump in oil prices over concerns about the economic impact of rising infections from the highly contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus.

"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 FTSE 100 ended the day back in the black, edging up by around 0.1 percent, while stock prices in both Frankfurt and Paris were weaker.

On the other side of the Atlantic, both the Dow and S&P 500 retreated from records, finishing modestly lower. The tech-rich Nasdaq mustered a small gain.

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 more than two percent on Monday.

The dollar was mixed against its biggest rivals.

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.

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 35,101.85 (close)

London stock exchange
London's commodities-heavy FTSE 100 took a knock on slumping oil prices and as haven investment gold lost some of its shine, while stock prices in both Frankfurt and Paris were also in the red Photo: AFP / Daniel ROLAND

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.1 percent at 4,432.35 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.2 percent at 14,860.18 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,132.30 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 15,745.41 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 6,813.18 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 4,177.15 (close)

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 $1.1744 from $1.1762 2100 GMT Friday

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3845 from $1.3872

Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.75 pence from 84.78 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 110.35 yen from 110.25 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.3 percent at $69.04 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.6 percent at $66.48 per barrel

Copyright AFP. All rights reserved.