Global Stocks Mixed as Ukraine Talks Appear to Progress

BEIJING (AP) -- European markets opened lower while Asian stocks advanced Wednesday as investors saw signs of possible progress in talks on ending Russia's war on Ukraine.

London and Frankfurt declined. Shanghai and Hong Kong gained while Tokyo retreated. Oil rose more than $2 per barrel.

Wall Street futures were lower after U.S. stocks gained Wednesday following Russia's announcement it would scale back military operations near Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, and a northern city.

"This was a nice add-on catalyst" to a market rally already under way, said Clifford Bennett of ACY Securities in a report.

In early trading, London's FTSE 100 lost 0.1% to 7,529.06 and the DAX in Frankfurt sank 1.3% to 14,631.35. The CAC 40 in Paris shed 1% to 6,720.90.

On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.4%.

On Tuesday, the benchmark S&P 500 index rose 1.2% and the Dow advanced 1%. The Nasdaq composite added 1.8%.

More than 85% of the stocks in the S&P 500 rose. Tech and communication stocks helped power the rally, along with big retail chains, automakers and other companies that rely on consumer spending. Apple rose 1.9% and Netflix added 3.5%. Ford Motor climbed 6.5% and General Motors gained 4.6%.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's Feb. 24 attack on Ukraine rattled global markets that already were on edge about higher U.S. interest rates and a Chinese economic slowdown.

At peace talks in Turkey, Ukraine's delegation laid out a framework under which the country would declare itself neutral and its security would be guaranteed by an array of other nations.

The Russian deputy defense minister, Alexander Fomin, said Moscow would "cut back military activity" near Kyiv and Chernihiv but gave no details. President Joe Biden said he wasn't convinced that would lead to a fundamental shift in the war.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 2% to 3,266.60, rebounding from the previous day's loss after Shanghai, China's most populous city, closed most businesses to fight coronavirus outbreaks.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 0.8% to 28,027.25 after the government reported February retail sales declined by a bigger-than-forecast 0.8%. That left retail spending down 2% from its November peak.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 1.4% to 22,232.03 and the Kospi in Seoul added 0.2% to 2,746.74. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.7% to 7,514.50.

India's Sensex rose 1% to 58,529.58. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also rose.

Benchmark U.S. crude surged $2.21 to $106.45 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, gained $2.01 to $109.72 per barrel in London.

The dollar declined to 121.58 yen from Tuesday's 122.91 yen. The euro rose to $1.1153 from $1.1089.