European stocks traded mixed Tuesday as investors eased back on risk positions and braced for Italy's critical senate reform referendum later this week and a key meeting of OPEC leaders Wednesday in Vienna.
Britain's FTSE 100 slipped around 0.6% by 11:00 GMT with basic material and mining stocks including Antofagasta, Fresnillio and BHP Billiton all falling more than 2.3% and leading to the downside. Germany's DAX performance index was little changed at 10,580.9 points while the CAC-40 in Paris added around 0.5%.
Actelion (ALIOY) shares were one of the region's biggest early movers, falling more than 4% in Zurich to Sfr 182.02 each after a Financial Times report said the Swiss biotech firm is looking at ways to combine parts of its organisation with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) that would leave it independent of the U.S. pharmaceutical firm that is reportedly considering a $17 billion bid for the company.
Global oil prices extended declines in the European session amid reports that Russia's oil minister will not attend Wednesday's OPEC meeting in Vienna as traders trimmed bets on an agreement on production cuts between the world's biggest producers. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery fell around 1.76% to $46.00 per barrel while prices for Brent crude, the global benchmark, slipped 1.6% to $47.14 per barrel.
Stocks in Asia were mixed following a rare session of losses on Wall Street Monday, with the Nikkei 225 in Japan recording its second consecutive decline. South Korea's KOSPI index, however, swung into the green late in the session on news that controversial president Park Geun-hye was willing to resign in the wake of a nationwide corruption scandal.
The U.S. dollar traded modestly higher as the European session began, with investors marking the greenback at 101.24 against a basket of six global currencies. The pound advanced 0.4% to 1.2464 and the European single currency was about 0.11% weaker at 1.0601 following testimony from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi Monday that all but cemented the Bank's intention to extend its €1.5 trillion program of quantitative easing past the March 2017 deadline.
Bond investors, however, haven't taken that signal into Tuesday trading as yet, with cash bund futures falling 10 ticks by 11:00 GMT to 161.98. That said, benchmark 10-year bund yields were marked at 0.19%, putting the yield spread between 10-year U.S. Treasuries at 212 basis points. Germany will publish its flash estimate for November inflation at 13:00 GMT.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq all closed in the red Monday, the first negative day in five trading sessions. Additionally, the Russell 2000 closed lower 1.29%, ending its 15-day winning streak.
Early indications from futures prices suggest a 30 point gain for the Dow, a 3.25 point advance for the S&P 500 and a 7.7 pop for the Nasdaq.