LONDON - World share markets struggled to regain their poise on Tuesday, with hopes pinned on a modest Wall Street recovery after both Europe and Asia had fallen on tech and trade war tensions.
Traders were looking to a near $25 billion float of music app Spotify to lift the tech gloom, after a clobbering on Monday had pushed the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq below pivotal technical levels.
Having been shut on Monday and feeling that impact a day later, Europe's main bourses in London, Paris and Frankfurt were down 0.2-0.9 percent.
Tech stocks remained the pressure point there too after more criticism of Amazon by U.S. President Donald Trump and as reports that Apple intended to make more of its own parts burnt European chipmakers including AMS and STMicroelectronics.
"Equities are having a driving force on markets and who knows where that is going," said National Australia Bank strategist Gavin Friend market strategist, adding that other markets were struggling for direction as a result.
Some signs of stability were emerging, however.
As well Wall Street futures pointing 0.4 percent higher, the dollar steadied against the yen after three days of falls and safety plays like gold and government bonds were back in reverse.
Asia's shares had stumbled overnight, although its moves too had been small compared to Wall Street where the S&P 500 closed below its 200-day moving average for the first time since Britain's 2016 vote to leave the European Union.
As well as the tech problems, investors were wary after China imposed extra tariffs on 128 U.S. products, deepening a dispute between the world's two biggest economies and stoking concerns about the impact on global growth.
"China does not provoke a trade war, and doesn't want to fight a trade war, but we also aren't afraid of a trade war," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing.
Japan's Nikkei ended down 0.45 percent, after initially falling as much as 1.6 percent. China's Shanghai Composite index eased 0.9 percent and the blue-chip CSI300 was off 0.7 percent.
The slight recovery in risk appetite meant U.S. Treasuries, German Bunds and UK Gilts all saw a bit of selling too in Europe. Yields on 10-year notes were all off two- to three-month lows.
"The big question is how far the current tremor in the equity market will affect bonds, given it is driven by a single company - even if it is a tech giant having a huge market weight," said DZ Bank strategist Christian Lenk.
MUSIC TO THE BEARS?
Music streaming leader Spotify was heading for a potentially choppy inaugural stock market ride following Monday's sell-off.
In a public letter published ahead of its listing, Chief Executive Daniel Ek cautioned employees and fans that "sometimes we succeed, sometimes we stumble" and "I have no doubt that there will be ups and downs".
In informal premarket trading, pricing appeared to be holding up at around $132 a share, however, valuing the company at more than $23 billion.
Gobal data had also been mixed. Europe's manufacturing boom stumbled in March as optimism waned and demand was hit by icy winter storms, though that followed a bumper few months and overall expansion was still broad-based.
Among the main commodities, Brent oil futures nudged back up towards $68 a barrel.
They had fallen more than 3.7 percent on Monday after signs of rising Russian output and possible Saudi price cuts had compounded weaker U.S. and Chinese data on Monday and the escalating trade dispute between the two countries.
U.S. crude gained 14 cents to $63.15, copper jumped 1.4 percent for its fourth straight gain and spot gold ticked down 0.2 percent to $1,338.08 an ounce. Mexico's peso made ground meanwhile on hopes that the reworking of the NAFTA trade deal it has with the United States and Canada is making progress.
Mexico's economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo told Mexican radio late on Monday that he would travel to Washington on Wednesday for ministerial talks, adding that the United States was looking for a "quick solution."