Traders remain upbeat after Donald Trump last week said he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in an unprecedented summit

London (AFP) - Equity markets drifted lower Monday as profit-taking cut short a rally sparked by solid US jobs data and optimism about the prospect of a US-North Korean summit meeting.

Dealers said underlying sentiment remained upbeat but many investors, lacking fresh impetus to keep buying stocks, consolidated their positions.

“US stocks are mixed on the heels of last week’s sharp rally that came courtesy of Friday’s upbeat labor report, thawed geopolitical concerns and eased global trade uneasiness,” analysts at the Charles Schwab brokerage said.

The US trend reversal in turn weighed on European stocks which came off their session highs towards the closing bell.

Frankfurt’s DAX index, however, outperformed its peers after energy giant E.ON announced plans to take over Innogy, the renewables subsidiary of competitor RWE, in a deal valued at around 20 billion euros.

The deal fuelled a rally of shares in the companies involved, with E.ON shares up by more than four percent in closing trade, and RWE stock just over nine percent higher.

- ‘Best of both worlds’ -

Worldwide, investors were cheered by US Labor Department data that showed employers added a forecast-busting 313,000 jobs in February.

The closely-watched monthly report also revealed moderating wage growth compared with the January report, mitigating concerns the Federal Reserve will speed its pace of interest rate hikes.

“The best of both worlds for equity markets, with the economy in full swing but nary a sign of wage inflation,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA.

“It doesn’t get much better than that for investors and at least for now has dampened the inflationary fears that weighed on investor sentiment in February.”

- Key figures around 1640 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,214.76 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.6 percent at 12,418.39 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: FLAT at 5,276.71 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 3,429.96

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.4 percent at 25,246.12

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.7 percent at 21,824.03 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.9 percent at 31,594.33 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.2316 from $1.2307 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3890 from $1.3850

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 106.58 yen from 106.82 yen

Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 73 cents at $64.76 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN $1.02 at $61.02

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