In initial trade, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index gained 0.3 percent

LONDON (AFP) - European equities rose Monday in opening deals, despite Austria’s return to lockdown as the region raced to curb soaring Covid infections.

In initial trade, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index gained 0.3 percent to 7,251.06 points, compared with the closing level on Friday.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX index added 0.2 percent to 16,186.81 points and the Paris CAC 40 won 0.3 percent to 7,131.23.

The three key indices had however slumped Friday after Austria announced its new partial lockdown.

Austria closed shops, restaurants and festive markets on Monday in the most dramatic Covid-19 restriction seen in Western Europe for months.

Elsewhere in Europe -- as infections soar and anti-Covid measures get stricter -- frustrations have also erupted into demonstrations, with some marred by clashes with police.

"Just when we thought that Covid-19 risks were behind us, Europe became the new epicentre of the pandemic," said analyst Hussein Sayed at trading firm Exinity.

"Austria is the first country to reimpose a full lockdown starting today, with further curbs expected to come into force in other European countries."

Asian stock markets traded mixed Monday as investors mulled Europe’s new containment measures alongside growing speculation of interest rate hikes to tame spiking inflation.