SINGAPORE (AP) -- Global stocks were mixed on Thursday as investors let the latest assurances from the U.S. and China on trade simmer, after a roller coaster of exchanges between the two powers brought widespread uncertainty.
KEEPING SCORE: European shares were lower in early trading. Germany's DAX dropped 0.6 percent to 12,274.60 and France's CAC 40 shed 0.3 percent to 5,309.06. Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.2 percent to 7,608.10. Wall Street was poised to open higher. Dow futures added 0.1 percent to 24,160.00. The broader S&P 500 futures were up 0.2 percent to 2,710.20. The S&P 500 index had dropped 0.9 percent to 2,699.63 on Wednesday, its lowest closing level in nearly a month.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index remained almost flat at 22,270.39 and South Korea's Kospi lost 1.2 percent to 2,314.24. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5 percent to 28,497.32 while the Shanghai Composite in mainland China extended its losses by 0.9 percent to 2,786.90. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent to 6,215.40. Taiwan's benchmark fell and Southeast Asian indexes were mixed.
CHINA DEFENDS TRADE: China's government defended its trade record on Thursday to defuse U.S. and European pressure over market access and technology policy. A Cabinet report said that China has fulfilled its responsibility as a "major country" and contributed to "global peace and development." The report repeated promises to cut some tariffs and ease controls on foreign investment. But it didn't address complaints that Beijing is hampering access to promising industries and that plans for the state-led development of electric cars and other products violates China's free trade commitments.
MIXED U.S. MESSAGES: U.S. stocks inched higher on Wednesday after President Donald Trump dropped plans to impose strict limits on Chinese investment in U.S. technology companies. He urged Congress to strengthen existing laws that apply to all foreign countries instead. But the gains evaporated after Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser, said in an interview with Fox Business that it should not necessarily be viewed as a softer stance. The U.S. is set to impose a 25 percent tariff on billions of dollars of Chinese products starting July 6. In response, China will raise import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "Trump's slightly softer tone seems to have been undermined by a reiteration of the previous harsh tone on trade and investment by his adviser. Dollar strength, a generalized concern about global growth, higher oil prices, none of this is helping," said Robert Carnell, head of research and chief economist at ING Bank.
ENERGY: Oil futures eased after rallying on a report that showed U.S oil inventories dropping more sharply last week. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 14 cents to $72.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $2.23 to settle at $72.76 per barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 4 cents to $77.42 in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.31 yen from 110.20 Japanese yen in late trading Wednesday. The euro ticked up to $1.1559 from $1.1557.
This story has been corrected to show European shares are lower.