European stock markets traded mixed on Monday amid weak Italian economic data and following a strong start to the new week for Asian equity prices.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.07 percent to stand at 6,727.70 points in afternoon deals.
With Germany and France on public holidays, in muted trading Frankfurt's DAX 30 rose 0.37 percent to 8,428.98 points and in Paris the CAC 40 index slid 0.06 percent in value to 3,998.91.
On Friday, the market in Paris had jumped above 4,000 points for the first time since July 2011 as traders went bargain-hunting.
European markets diverged on Monday "following another record finish in US markets on Friday and an upbeat session in Asia overnight", said Ishaq Siddiqi, market strategist at traders ETX Capital.
"Volume today however is on the light side due to... (the public) holiday in Germany and France."
Milan's main index shed 1.03 percent to 17,423.71 points as official data revealed industrial orders in Italy plunged by 10 percent in March on a 12-month comparison. They however rose by 1.6 percent from February, as eurozone member Italy suffers its longest-ever recession.
In foreign exchange deals, the European single currency grew to $1.2862 from $1.2834 late in New York on Friday.
The dollar dropped to 102.34 yen from 103.19 yen on Friday, when the Japanese currency had reached the lowest level versus the US currency at 103.31 yen in intra-day trading.
"In the currency market, the yen climbed against its rivals after Japan's Economy Minister Akira Amari said further losses in the currency would negatively affect people," noted Siddiqi.
He added: "The sharp strengthening in the yen has seen gold and metal prices plunge in overnight trade as investors sold metals to cover foreign exchange losses."
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold slid to $1,353.75 an ounce from $1,368.75 late on Friday.
In European corporate news, French food giant Danone announced it is ramping up its presence in the growing Chinese market for dairy products investing about 325 million euros ($418 million) in joint ventures with COFCO and Mengniu.
Danone shares rose 0.91 percent to 58.64 euros in afternoon trading.
Asian stock markets closed higher on Monday, reflecting a bullish mood on Wall Street and extending their two-week rally, buoyed by better-than-expected US data, traders said.
Tokyo's main index finished up 1.47 percent to 15,360.81 points and Sydney gained 0.54 percent. Hong Kong ended 1.78-percent higher and Shanghai won 0.75 percent as investors hunted for bargains in property and banking stocks, dealers said.
US stocks edged lower in opening trade Monday amid a flurry of merger and acquisition news, including the Yahoo! takeover of blogging platform Tumblr.
Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.05 percent to 15,347.13 points.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.05 percent to 3,497.10 and the broad-market S&P 500 dipped 0.03 percent to 1,666.99.
-- Ireland, Yahoo in corporate news focus --
In the absence of major economic releases, "M&A news is dominating the headlines," Charles Schwab & Co. said.
US drug maker Actavis reached an agreement to acquire Irish rival Warner Chilcott for about $8.5 billion in stock, while struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! agreed to an all-cash acquisition of Tumblr for $1.1 billion.
Indices on Wall Street last week struck new record highs last week as investors focused on the positive side of mixed economic news and corporate earnings.
A pair of better-than-expected reports Friday -- on US consumer confidence and the economic outlook -- drove a rally that pushed the Dow and S&P 500 to all-time highs for the third straight week.
"Life is getting harder for market commentators -- as there is a finite amount of ways of writing the same piece of news," Capital Spreads wrote in a commentary published on Monday.
"In case you weren't aware of the continuing theme in 2013, the US had some improving data, more companies released earnings which were better than expected, and we are at yet more all-time highs... as long as economic data continues to improve, which seems increasingly likely, and stimulative measures are kept in tact, nothing looks likely to change unless investors get nervous."