BEIJING -Global stock markets were mostly lower Friday after Wall Street broke a three-day winning streak and declined.
In early trading, Germany's DAX fell 0.4 percent to 10,389.42 points and France's CAC 40 shed 0.2 percent to 4,573.38. Britain's FTSE 100 was off 0.7 percent at 6,336.96. On Thursday, the DAX gained 0.2 percent while the CAC 40 was off 0.1 percent and the FTSE 100 lost 0.2 percent.
Wall Street's outlook was muted, with the future for the Dow flat and that for the Standard & Poor's 500 index up 0.1 percent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.7 percent to 21,467.04 while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to 2,959.24. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1.2 percent to 17,572.49. Seoul's Kospi retreated 0.3 percent to 2,015.49 and Sydney's S&P ASX 200 lost 0.7 percent to 5,236.40. India's Sensex was off 0.1 percent at 25,844.89. Benchmarks in Malaysia and Indonesia gained while New Zealand and Singapore declined.
Investors sold traditional safe-play stocks such as phone companies and utilities as they pored over earnings for clues about the trajectory of the U.S. economy. Analysts say companies are struggling to meet profit expectations. General Motors rose 1.5 percent after its profit more than doubled while Mattel fell 5.8 percent on disappointing sales of Barbie dolls. The Dow lost 0.6 percent and the S&P shed 0.5 percent. The Nasdaq composite index lost 0.1 percent.
With little improvement in the U.S. economy and the S&P close to its all-time high, "some retreat is needed for bullishness to sustain," Bernard Aw of IG said in a report. "Having said that, the lack of a strong improvement in the economic outlook raises questions whether the stock rally will go on. In my view, equities may find it difficult to push higher from recent levels."
Benchmark U.S. crude gained 43 cents to $43.60 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1 on Thursday to close at $43.18. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 23 cents to $44.75 in London. It fell $1.27 the previous session to $44.53.
The dollar advanced to 110.33 yen from Thursday's 109.44 yen. The euro declined to $1.1281 from $1.1293.