Global stocks dip as investors monitor US tax bill, Brexit

A man walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Shares were steady in Asia on Tuesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street where technology stocks tumbled. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 percent as the yen gained against the U.S. dollar. Investors are keeping an eye on U.S. tax legislation and Brexit negotiations. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
A man looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Shares were steady in Asia on Tuesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street where technology stocks tumbled. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 percent as the yen gained against the U.S. dollar. Investors are keeping an eye on U.S. tax legislation and Brexit negotiations. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
People walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Shares were steady in Asia on Tuesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street where technology stocks tumbled. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 percent as the yen gained against the U.S. dollar. Investors are keeping an eye on U.S. tax legislation and Brexit negotiations. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO — World stock markets mostly fell Tuesday as investors digested the possible impact of the U.S. tax legislation and the stalled Brexit negotiations.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX slipped 0.3 percent to 13,015 and the CAC 40 of France lost 0.4 percent to 5,365. Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.1 percent to 7,344. Wall Street looked set for a positive start, with S&P 500 futures up 0.2 percent and Dow futures gaining 0.3 percent.

U.S. TAXES: Stock indexes initially jumped Monday on expectations that lower tax rates will boost corporate profits. But technology companies that already pay the lowest effective tax rates of the 11 sectors in the S&P 500 skidded. Uncertainty over the tax overhaul persists since the Senate and House of Representatives must iron out differences in their respective proposals, with a Friday deadline to avert a government shutdown looming.

BREXIT TALKS: The European Union and Britain ended a flurry of top-level diplomacy on Monday without a deal on the terms of their divorce, as agreement on how to maintain an open Irish border after Brexit slipped out of the negotiators' grasp. But the two sides said they were within striking distance of consensus, setting up a hectic negotiating rush ahead of an EU summit next week.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "The two overarching macro themes the market honed in on overnight have been the response from European and U.S. traders to the Senate passing its tax plan and that no deal has yet been formally reached in the Brexit negotiations," Chris Weston of IG said in a commentary.

THE DAY IN ASIA: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.4 percent to 22,622.38 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 1.0 percent to 28,842.80. India's Sensex lost 0.2 percent to 32,806.18. The Kospi in South Korea gained 0.3 percent to 2,510.12, while the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.2 percent to 3,303.68. Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell 0.2 percent to 5,971.80. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed while Taiwan declined.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.61 Japanese yen from 112.41 yen late Monday. The euro slipped to $1.1853 from $1.1866, and the British pound fell $1.3419 from $1.3479.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gave up 34 cents to $57.13 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slumped 89 cents on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 19 cents to $62.26 per barrel. It fell $1.28 the day before.

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