European stock markets fell on Wednesday, mirroring earlier losses in Asia, as traders cashed in recent gains and absorbed diverging eurozone inflation data.
London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies dropped 0.87 percent to 6,453.90 points in late morning deals in the British capital.
Elsewhere, Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 0.11 percent to 7,957.03 points and in Paris the CAC 40 lost 0.42 percent to 3,823.70.
In foreign exchange activity, the euro slid to $1.3018 from $1.3035 late on Tuesday in New York. Gold prices decreased to $1,592.50 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from $1,594.
London stocks were pulled lower by a number of companies going ex-dividend, which means that the stock no longer carries the right to the most recently declared dividend.
"The FTSE 100 is ... weighed down by ex-dividend stocks and a general lack of market-moving events," said analyst Chris Beauchamp at trading group IG.
Asian markets had mostly fallen earlier on Wednesday, with few catalysts to drive buying after recent gains, while Wall Street provided a limp lead.
New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average extended its record-breaking run to six sessions but only by squeezing out a marginal gain of just 0.02 percent, despite last Friday's healthy non-farm payrolls data.
"Despite strong employment numbers from the US last week, markets have been unable to muster much enthusiasm for another push higher," said Beauchamp.
"However, the underlying theme of the year has been that each dip has been the signal for a new round of buying, especially when central bank support is taken into account," he added.
Investor sentiment was meanwhile hit by worrying monthly inflation data which showed a growing gap between eurozone member nations.
"CPI data out of Europe this morning gave traders cause to take their foot off the gas, as the widening gap in data between constituent eurozone members was drawn back into focus," said CMC Markets analyst Matt Basi.
Official data shows that in February, inflation reached an annualised 1.0 percent in France but soared to 2.9 percent in Spain. That contrasted with a rate of 1.5 percent in Germany.
"The conflicting backdrops make blanket monetary policy an impossible balancing act - particular given the disparity in growth forecasts between Germany and their poorer continental cousins," added Basi.
However, Spanish inflation data was partly skewed by a sales tax hike that was implemented in September last year as part of austerity measures.
In company earnings news on Wednesday, British insurance giant Prudential announced that net profits surged 55 percent last year, as it was lifted by solid growth in key market Asia, and ramped up its full-year shareholder dividend by 15.9 percent to 29.19 pence per share.
Investors applauded the news, sending Prudential shares soaring by 3.11 percent to 1,061 pence in midday deals in the British capital.