Global markets cautious amid Greek debt talks

LONDON - Global markets were subdued Friday as investors looked for news of a breakthrough in Greece's debt talks and most markets in Asia were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.

France's CAC 40 lost 0.6 percent to 4,802.48, while Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent at 6,905.28. Germany's DAX was flat at 10,998.21. U.S. shares were set to drift lower with Dow futures down 0.2 percent and S&P 500 futures 0.3 percent lower.

Greece was headed to another round of negotiations for a bailout settlement for its debt crisis, but opposition remained stiff from lead lender Germany. Greece wants a six-month extension to its rescue loans, but is balking at accepting budget cuts it has been demanded to make so far. Germany insists there is no way the loans can be extended without budget conditions.

"Any agreement will require difficult compromises from both sides," wrote Athanasios Vamvakidis, strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a note to investors.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent to close at 18,332.30, building on the upbeat mood that marked the previous day, when it closed at a nearly 15-year high. Japan has been pushing ahead with export-encouraging policies such as the cheap yen. Toyota was up 1.0 percent. Softbank gained 0.3 percent, and Canon added 0.4 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.4 percent to 5,881.50. Other regional markets were closed for the holidays.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 27 cents to $51.43 in electronics trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. dollar fell to 118.55 yen from 119.04 yen the previous session, while the euro fell to $1.1284 from $1.1368.