Europe's stock markets opened lower, as EU leaders struggled to unite over the terms of a vast 750 billion euro post-coronavirus economic rescue plan.

Investor sentiment was also dented as a spike in new Covid-19 infections forced some governments to impose fresh containment measures, notably in Australia, Hong Kong and the United States.

In initial trade, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index shed 0.8 percent to 6,240.52 points, compared with the closing level from Friday.

In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 index dipped 0.4 percent to 5,047.03 points and Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 0.3 percent to 12,881.69.