SEOUL, South Korea - Shares were mostly lower across global markets on Tuesday in sluggish trading, while oil prices resumed gains. Investors were digesting mixed reports on the health of the global economy and awaiting U.S. data later in the week.
European markets opened nearly flat. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent to 6,937.61. France's CAC 40 remained flat at 4,498.61 while Germany's DAX was down 0.1 percent to 10,734.29.
Futures augured a tepid start on Wall Street: Both Dow and S&P futures lost 0.1 percent.
Global markets have seen small gains and losses as investors digest mixed reports on the health of the global economy. Japan's economy grew at a lower-than-expected 0.2 percent in the second quarter, which could push the Bank of Japan to do more to stimulate the economy. Last week, data showed that Chinese factory output and other economic activity weakened in July. American consumers cut spending in July, but a survey showed that U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic as prices and sales of new homes rise.
"Currency markets are becalmed, and gold and oil are steady at higher levels. Naturally, energy and material stocks are finding support, but volumes indicate an overall lack of investor interest," Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets said in a commentary.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.6 percent to 16,596.51 as the yen gained against the U.S. dollar. South Korea's Kospi eked out a 0.1 percent loss to close at 2,047.76. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.1 percent at 22,910.84 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.1 percent to 5,532.00. Stocks in mainland China and Taiwan fell and markets in Southeast Asia were mostly lower.
Benchmark U.S. crude added 32 cents at $46.06 per barrel in New York. The contract jumped $1.25, or 2.8 percent, to $45.74 a barrel on Monday after Russia said it would work with Saudi Arabia to achieve market stability. Brent crude, a benchmark used to price international oils, was 32 cents higher at $48.67 a barrel in London.
The dollar fell to 100.09 yen from 101.21 yen and the euro rose to $1.1274 from $1.1183.