A man looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

European markets down, Asia gains ahead of US-China talks

October 08, 2019 - 1:54 am

TOKYO (AP) — Shares slipped in Europe on Tuesday after broad gains in Asia ahead of trade talks between the U.S. and China.

France's CAC 40 slipped 0.5% to 5,496.11 in early trading, while Germany's DAX fell 0.5% to 12,039.25. Britain's FTSE 100 was little changed but edged less than 0.1% higher to 7,200.59.

Britain and the European Union remained at odds, with both sides insisting the other must soften its stance on plans for the U.K.'s departure from the bloc.

U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures dipping 0.1% at 26,408. S&P 500 futures were also down 0.1% at 2,934.80.

China's Commerce Ministry said Thursday that Beijing's lead trade envoy will travel to Washington on Thursday for the talks.

U.S. shares have skidded recently following a mostly discouraging batch of economic data that stoked investors' worries that a slowdown in U.S. economic growth could worsen.

The combination of uncertainty over the costly trade war between the U.S. and China and the impeachment inquiry unfolding in Washington is weighing on sentiment.

Analysts say prospects for a significant breakthrough in the trade dispute are scant. But that has not dented enthusiasm in Asia.

"Having sold off through late September, this positioning ahead of the trade talks suggests that the market is not entirely pessimistic towards the outcome," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist for IG in Singapore.

Markets in the Chinese mainland resumed trading after a weeklong holiday, with the Shanghai Composite climbing 0.3% to 2,913.57.

Hong Kong shares closed higher despite a bleak assessment by Chief Executive Carrie Lam of the impact of months of increasingly violent protests on the city's economy.

Addressing reporters after a long weekend of more turmoil, Lam said tourism arrivals were down by half and that hotels and retailers were suffering.

Hong Kong's third quarter economic data will definitely be "very bad", she said.

Elsewhere, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 1.0% to 21,587.78 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5% to 6,593.40. South Korea's Kospi picked up 1.2% to 2,046.25. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.3% to 25,893.40.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil added 19 cents to $52.94 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 6 cents to $52.75 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 31 cents to $58.66 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 107.15 Japanese yen from 107.25 yen on Monday. The euro rose to $1.0990 from $1.0971.