Currency traders work at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Asian shares were mostly lower Wednesday as investors awaited developments on the trade friction between the U.S. and China at the Group of 20 meeting of major economies in Japan later in the week. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Global shares mostly lower as investors look to G-20 meeting

June 26, 2019 - 4:42 am

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares were mostly lower Wednesday as investors awaited developments in trade friction between the U.S. and China at the Group of 20 meeting of major economies in Japan later in the week.

France's CAC 40 dipped nearly 0.2% in early trading to 5,505.81. Germany's DAX was down 0.1% at 12,214.52. Britain's FTSE 100 inched nearly 0.1% lower to 7,416.74.

U.S. shares were set to drift higher with Dow futures up less than 0.1% at 26,565. S&P 500 futures added 0.1% to 2,923.80.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.5% to finish at 21,086.59, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.3% to 6,640.50. South Korea's Kospi stood virtually unchanged at 2,121.85. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.1% to 28,221.98, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.2% to 2,976.28.

On Wall Street, discouraging economic data and cautionary remarks from the head of the Federal Reserve weighed on the market.

In an early afternoon speech, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell noted that the economic outlook has become cloudier since early May amid uncertainty over trade and global growth. Earlier Tuesday, reports showed a decline in consumer confidence and more weakness in the housing market.

Trade policy remains the biggest source of uncertainty looming over the market. Investors are worried about the trade dispute between the U.S. and China and its potential impact on global economic growth and corporate profits.

Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping will meet this week at the G-20 summit. The world's two largest economies spent much of the current quarter escalating their trade war and giving global markets jitters over prospects for economic growth.

"To a large extent, any further deterioration in trade relations is expected to guide expectations here so the focus remains up ahead with the G-20," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

ENERGY:

Benchmark crude oil rose $1.04 to $58.87 a barrel amid worries about tensions in the Middle East, centered around concerns about Iran, and industry data that showed a decrease in U.S. crude oil inventories. It fell 7 cents to settle at $57.83 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 81 cents to $65.09 a barrel.

CURRENCIES:

The dollar rose slightly to 107.46 yen from 107.03 yen on Tuesday. The euro weakened to $1.1367 from $1.1381.

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