Despite early gains in Asia, stock markets in Europe drift down again as jitters remain



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Global stock markets remained volatile Monday as European indexes failed to pick up Asia's baton and posted more big falls. Wall Street was also poised for further selling at the open following an end-of-week rally.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 1 percent at 6,246 while Germany's DAX fell 1.4 percent to 8,724. The CAC-40 in France was 1.3 percent lower at 3,983. For the U.S., Dow futures were pointing to a 0.6 percent retreat at the bell while the broader S&P 500 futures indicated a 0.4 percent reverse.

JITTERS REMAIN: With the economic newsflow light Monday, investor nerves remain frayed. Last week, markets were extremely volatile as investors fretted over a combination of factors such as the economic stagnation in Europe, higher interest rates in the U.S. and waning growth in China. Figures over the rest of the week, including Chinese growth data, should help shine some light on those concerns.

THE QUOTE: "The big question this week is going to be whether the correction has played out," said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari.

ASIA'S DAY: The downbeat mood in Europe was not evident in Asia earlier as the region's main indexes recorded solid gains in the wake of last Friday's rebound in Europe and the U.S. Japan's Nikkei 225 soared 4 percent to 15,083.91 following a report the Government Pension Fund will increase its domestic equity holdings to 25 percent from 12 percent. South Korea's Kospi was up 1.6 percent at 1,930.06 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 23,070.26.

CHINA ECONOMY: Much market attention over the coming 24 hours or so will likely center on China, the world's No. 2 economy. Third-quarter growth figures Tuesday may be the weakest in five years. Some analysts predict the economy expanded 7.2 percent from a year earlier, slowing from 7.5 percent in the second quarter. One analyst said the figures could be a "win-win" for markets. "If the number impresses, markets will feel things are not as bad as initially thought," said IG strategist Stan Shamu.

ENERGY: One symptom of the concerns over the global economy has been the sharp fall in oil prices over recent weeks. On Monday, they steadied, with the benchmark New York rate up 13 cents at $82.88 a barrel. Brent crude was down 25 cents at $85.92 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: Foreign exchange markets were relatively subdued with the euro up 0.1 percent at $1.2772 and the dollar 0.1 percent lower at 106.85 yen.

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