TOKYO - Stock markets fell Monday ahead of a preliminary manufacturing survey from China that might show renewed weakness in the world's second-largest economy.
Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.3 percent to 6,799.98 after shares in major retailer Tesco plunged on the news it had overestimated its half-year expected profit by 250 million pounds (about $409 million). France's CAC 40 dropped 0.4 percent to 4,442.70 and Germany's DAX slipped 0.4 percent to 9,764.44. U.S stocks were set to start the week lower, with Dow futures down 0.3 percent to 17,156. S&P 500 futures lost 0.5 percent to 1,993.30.
"All eyes will be on China's HSBC flash PMI after the recent spate of soft data, especially industrial production and property prices last week," Mizuho Bank said in a commentary. HSBC's gauge of China manufacturing is due Tuesday.
The yen has been trading at six-year lows as the dollar has surged in anticipation the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next year while the Bank of Japan keeps its easy monetary policy. However on Monday the dollar was slightly lower, at 108.90 yen, after closing Friday at 109.05 yen. The euro rose to $1.2855 from $1.2831.
A pledge of further stimulus from finance chiefs of the Group of 20 industrial nations over the weekend appeared to fall flat amid deepening concern over faltering recoveries in major economies apart from the U.S. Finance chiefs from the G-20, representing about 85 percent of the global economy, said Sunday they are close to reaching a goal set in February of boosting world GDP by more than $2 trillion over the next five years, and will focus on infrastructure investment to help reach the target. But they also warned that despite improving economic conditions in some key economies, growth remains uneven and below the pace necessary to generate critically needed jobs.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent to 16,205.90 as the yen regained some strength against the U.S. dollar. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.7 percent to 2,039.27 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.4 percent to 23,955.67. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.3 percent to 5,363 on selling of materials-related shares and financials. Shares in Southeast Asia and India also fell.
New Zealand's share market benchmark rose 1.3 percent to 5,619.97 on gains in energy stocks following an election victory Saturday for the ruling National Party over the Labour Party, which had promised to lower energy prices.
Benchmark crude oil slipped 34 cents to $91.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 33 cents to close at $91.65 a barrel on Friday.