BANGKOK (AP) -- World shares fell and oil prices were mixed as investors braced Monday for an expected invasion by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
The future for the S&P 500 rose 0.2% and that for the Dow industrials gained 0.3%. Germany's DAX was down 0.1% at 15,168.16 and the CAC 40 in Paris declined fell less than 0.1%, to 6,999.82. Britain's FTSE 100 reversed early losses, gaining 0.3% at 7,624.99.
Israeli forces, supported by a growing deployment of U.S. warships in the region and the call-up of some 360,000 reservists, have positioned themselves along Gaza's border and drilled for what Israel said would be a broad campaign to dismantle the militant group Hamas.
More than a million people have fled their homes in the besieged enclave in the past week, ahead of the anticipated invasion meant to eliminate Hamas' leadership after its deadly Oct. 7 attack.
"Who can blame markets for being jittery," RaboResearch Global Economics and Markets said in a commentary. "The world now holds its breath as Israel prepares for a full-scale ground invasion of Gaza, with only unseasonal torrential rain delaying the seemingly inevitable."
The conflict has jolted oil markets, adding to uncertainties already hanging over the global economic outlook. The Gaza region is not a major producer of oil, but the fear is that the violence could spill into the politics around the crude market and eventually lead to disruptions in the flow of petroleum, with broad ramifications for many industries.
Early Monday, U.S. crude oil edged 4 cents higher to $87.73 per barrel. On Friday, the price of a barrel of benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped $4.78 to settle at $87.69.
Brent crude, the international standard, was down 10 cents at $90.79 a barrel. On Friday it climbed $4.89 to $90.89 per barrel.
Worries about the state of the U.S. economy have undermined recent optimism over the possibility that the Federal Reserve might halt its interest rate hikes aimed at quashing inflation.
Persisting inflationary pressures along with higher oil prices have raised doubts about that, threatening confidence in the "'remarkable resilience' of the U.S. economy, which buoyed stock markets until a few months ago," Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a report.
In Asian trading Monday, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 sank 2% to 31,659.03 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1% to 17,640.36. South Korea's Kospi declined 0.8% to 2,436.24.
The Shanghai Composite index was 0.5% lower, at 3,073.81, while Bangkok's SET skidded 1.6%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.4% at 7,026.50.
On Friday, U.S. stocks mostly fell as they were buffeted by competing waves of optimism and fear.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite fell 1.2%. The Dow industrials edged up 0.1%.
Worries about the war pulled Treasury yields lower, which often happens when investors head for safer investments during times of stress. However, early Monday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury had risen to 4.69% from 4.63% late Friday.
Several U.S. banking giants said their profits during the summer were better than feared, which offered hope on Wall Street for an earning reporting season that may deliver the first growth for big companies in a year.
This week will bring more earnings reports, including updates from Tesla and Netflix.
In currency dealings early Monday, the U.S. dollar slipped to 149.52 Japanese yen from 149.55 yen late Friday. The euro rose to $1.0531 from $1.0515.