Mon. 8:26 a.m.: Global shares mixed with all eyes on China trade talks

TOKYO (AP) — Global stock markets were mixed today as investors cautiously awaited the outcome of trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Shares in Asia closed mostly lower and Wall Street appeared headed for a drop on the open.

U.S. futures pointed to early losses with the contract for the Dow Jones industrial average down 0.2 percent to 26,482. S&P 500 futures also lost 0.2 percent to 2,946.

Shares in Europe were up slightly, with France’s CAC 40 up 0.4 percent at 5,510, while Germany’s DAX gaining 0.5 percent to 12,069. Britain’s FTSE 100 picked up 0.3 percent to 7,178.

All eyes are on the world’s two largest economies as they prepare to resume trade talks this week. Markets have been quick to swing on any hint of movement in the U.S.-China trade dispute, which has dragged on manufacturing around the world, including Asia, and pushed CEOs to delay investments amid uncertainty.

Robert Carnell, chief economist and head of research Asia-Pacific at ING, noted some optimism about the trade talks but warned that past optimism was often misplaced.

“It looks as if we are back to considering the merits of a narrow trade deal today, as news stories break suggesting that China is not looking to make a broader trade deal along the lines it is reported the U.S. is seeking,” he said.

Chinese offices were closed for a holiday, and officials did not respond to requests for comment on a report by Bloomberg that Chinese negotiators were seeking to limit the scope of the talks. That could reduce the likelihood of progress.

In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.2 percent to finish at 21,375.25 while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7 percent to 6,563.60. South Korea’s Kospi was little changed, inching up less than 0.1 percent to 2,021.73. The Sensex in India picked up 0.4 percent to 37,816.91. Chinese markets are due to reopen on Tuesday after a weeklong break.

Wall Street ended a choppy week of trading with a broad rally on mostly positive U.S. jobs data that drove the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than 370 points higher.

The gains Friday also gave the S&P 500 its best day in seven weeks, though the benchmark index still finished with its third straight weekly loss. The job market data for September showed the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to a five-decade low and employers were adding jobs at a healthy clip.

A strong jobs market would enable U.S. households to keep spending, supporting the economy at a time when slowing growth abroad poses a threat and President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is sapping exports and manufacturing.


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