By Anna Isaac
Global stocks moved lower Wednesday after stumbling blocks emerged in trade talks between the U.S. and China.
Major indexes across Asia fell, and ongoing political unrest in Hong Kong drove the Hang Seng lower by 1.8%. Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 0.9%. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 0.6%, while other regional indexes also slipped. The FTSE 100 fell 0.5%, while Germany's DAX dropped 0.8%. U.S. futures slipped, with contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.3%.
A question hanging over trade talks is whether Washington will agree to remove existing tariffs on Chinese imports to secure an initial deal with Beijing, rather than just lifting the threat of further levies due December 15.
Stocks fell in Hong Kong as unrest gripped the city, including the parts of the financial district, for a third straight weekday.
"The escalation of violence has caused some market jitters," said Daryl Liew, head of portfolio management at REYL Singapore.
The Hang Seng's fall Wednesday put its losses this week to 3.9%. Insurer AIA Group Ltd. led declines on the flagship index with a 3.2% fall. Selling financial products to mainland visitors in Hong Kong is an important line of business for AIA. Elsewhere, real-estate firm Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. shed 2.4%.
Mr. Liew said global shares were richly valued and uncertainties over global growth and the trade talks could dent investors' risk appetite.
In Europe, banks were the worst performing sector in the Stoxx Europe 600, down 2%. The drop was led by Spanish banks, after the leading socialist party, Podemos, moved toward forming a new government coalition.
Podemos has pledged to raise taxes on banks and block privatizing Bankia SA's, one of the country's largest lenders. Its shares fell 4%. Banco Santander SA dropped 2.4%.
Markets will get an update on price growth in the U.S. on Wednesday when the October consumer-price index is released by the Labor Department. Later, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gives testimony to Congress's Joint Economic Committee. Lines of questioning for Mr. Powell might include the Fed's expected pause on interest-rate cuts and the overall health of the U.S. economy.
Separately, policy makers Neel Kashkari of the Minneapolis Fed and Thomas Barkin of the Richmond Fed are also set to deliver speeches.
Technology giant, Cisco Systems Inc., will report earnings later Wednesday.
The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury fell to 1.900% from 1.909% Tuesday.
Write to Anna Isaac at firstname.lastname@example.org