Global shares were mostly lower on Tuesday after manufacturing indicators in Europe and Asia painted a mixed picture and Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Western countries of threatening Russia.
Shares fell in early trading in France, Germany and Britain and US futures declined. Oil prices were mixed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin railed against the West Tuesday in a long-delayed state-of-the-nation address that shed light on how the Kremlin sees its bogged-down war in Ukraine. Such geopolitical factors add to uncertainties over slowing growth and weakening consumer demand in many economies.
France's CAC 40 fell 0.1 per cent in early trading to 7,327.24. Germany's DAX lost 0.2 per cent to 15,441.85. Britain's FTSE 100 edged down 0.1 per cent to 8,005.92.
After US markets were closed Monday for President's Day, the future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.6 per cent lower while that for the S&P 500 lost 0.7 per cent.
In Europe, surveys of factory managers showed improvement in the manufacturing outlook in Britain but contractions in France and Germany.
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In Japan, a preliminary manufacturing indicator, the flash purchasing manager's index, or PMI, fell to 47.4 in February from 48.9 the month before. That was the weakest reading in more than two years.
In Australia, the Judo Bank PMI showed private sector activity remained in contraction for the fifth straight month. Although exports rebounded with help from China's re-opening after it dropped COVID-related restrictions, the sector showed little to no positive momentum. Unemployment has also risen in Australia.
The distortions in the Australian economy remain extreme and point only to recession, Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities, said in a commentary.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.2 per cent to 27,473.10. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2 per cent to 7,336.30. South Korea's Kospi gained nearly 0.2 per cent to 2,458.96. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 1.8 per cent to 20,517.91, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.5 per cent to 3,306.52.
It was unclear if newly issued rules on overseas initial public offerings by Chinese companies had any significant impact on trading.
China cleared the way for more companies to join foreign stock exchanges but issued rules that might make the stock offering process more time-consuming by requiring stricter regulatory scrutiny in advance.
This week will bring updates on US manufacturing and housing and minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Reserve that might provide insights into the outlook for inflation and interest rates.
In energy trading, benchmark US crude picked up 28 cents to USD 76.83 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international pricing standard, lost USD 1.12 cents to USD 82.95 a barrel.
In currency trading, the US dollar inched up to 134.53 Japanese yen from 134.26 yen. The euro cost USD 1.0672, down from USD 1.0689.
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