Global Stocks Fall on EU Policy, G20

Global Stocks Fall on EU Policy, G20

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Global markets are mostly lower as investors fret over the European Central Bank's unwinding of stimulus programs and await the outcome of the Group of 20 summit, which begins Friday in Hamburg, Germany.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX fell 0.2 percent to 12,356.58 and the FTSE 100 of Britain also lost 0.2 percent to 7,322.80. France's CAC 40 lost 0.4 percent to 5,131.39. Futures were mixed, with Dow futures down 0.1 percent and S&P futures up less than 0.1 percent.

EUROPE: Investors read the meeting minutes from the European Central Bank's June meeting as a sign the bank will take further steps toward exiting its stimulus program. The revelation, which follows the latest meeting minutes release by the Federal Reserve, dragged stock markets in Europe lower overnight.

ANALYST'S VIEW: "Investors sold assets across the risk spectrum in overnight trading as ECB meeting minutes focused attention on the coming withdrawal of stimulus," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said in a daily commentary. "Investor nerves are fraying ahead of this potentially high market-impact event."

G-20 SUMMIT: Terrorism, global trade and climate change are among top items on the agenda for the leaders of the world's biggest industrial and developing nations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said she hoped to find "compromises and answers" on a range of issues at the two-day gathering. There's little disagreement on fighting terrorism, but prospects of finding common ground on climate change and trade look uncertain.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent to 19,929.09 and South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 2,379.87. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.5 percent to 25,340.85 while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to 3,217.96. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 sank 1.0 percent to 5,703.60. Most benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and Southeast Asia were in the red.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost $1.15 to $44.37 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 39 cents to finish at $45.52 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell $1.07 to $47.04 per barrel in London. It closed at $48.11 a barrel on Thursday, down 32 cents.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.75 yen from 113.19 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1422 from $1.1424.