Shares opened lower in Europe on Tuesday after a day of gains for most Asian markets.
Benchmarks fell in Paris, London and Tokyo on Tuesday and U.S. futures also declined.
Germany reported its exports fell by a quarter in April as the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns to fight it left stores and markets shuttered.
Tuesday’s figures from the German Federal Statistical Office followed data showing big drops in factory orders and industrial production in Europe’s biggest economy, underlining expectations of a sharp economic contraction in the second quarter.
Analysts say the recent rally that has pushed U.S. shares to near record highs may be overdone given uncertainties over the pandemic and economic recoveries. Market players are awaiting a meeting of the U.S. central bank this week that might signal future policy.
France’s CAC 40 fell 1.8% to 5,084.42, while Germany’s DAX lost 1.8% to 12,593.42. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 1.9% to 6,347.22.
U.S. shares were set to slip back, with the future for the Dow industrials down 1.3% to 27,176.00. S&P 500 futures fell 1.3% to 3,193.90.
In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.4% to finish at 23,091.03 and India’s Sensex declined 0.6% to 34,160.33.
South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2% to 2,188.92. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.1% to 25,057.22, while the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.6% to 2,956.11.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 2.4% to 6,144.90, tracking Wall Street’s recent gains. The market was closed on Monday for a public holiday.
Shares rose in Taiwan but fell in Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta.
“It’s been a lazy day in Asia as traders wait for the Fed to signal,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting on interest rates later in the week.
In Japan, the government reported that wages fell in April as the country widened precautions to fight the coronavirus pandemic, causing some businesses to close or limit their operations.
Lower incomes make consumers even less likely to spend, compounding difficulties in boosting demand at a time when the economy is in recession. A failure to get companies to raise real wages has hindered efforts to return the economy to solid, sustainable growth.
Overnight, the Nasdaq composite, which is more heavily weighted to the big technology stocks that held up the best earlier this year, gained 1.1%, to 9,924.74. Investors were also cheered by the U.S. government report last week that said that employers added 2.5 million jobs to their payrolls last month. Economists were expecting to see 8 million more lost.
But that good news may well reduce the likelihood of further stimulus, including extensions of unemployment benefits and more assistance for businesses and states.
And with coronavirus infections still rising in the U.S. and many other countries, the outlook for the pandemic remains unclear.
“Across the developed world, we will soon know if our national leaders were geniuses, lucky, naive, greedy, short-sighted or just plain dumb. Economies all over the globe are reopening before COVID-19 has been controlled,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst of Asia-Pacific at Oanda.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 38 cents to $37.81 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.36 to $38.19 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil shed 28 cents to $40.52 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar fell to 107.94 Japanese yen from 108.44 yen. The euro inched down to $1.1264 from $1.1289.