World shares subdued after signing of China-US trade pact

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Investors monitor stock prices at a brokerage in Beijing Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. Share prices are mixed in moderate trading in Asia after the U.S. and China signed a preliminary trade agreement that investors hope will bring better relations between the two biggest economies. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

BANGKOK – Global markets were subdued Thursday after the signing of a preliminary China-U.S. trade agreement that investors hope will bring better relations between the world's two biggest economies.

After Asian markets largely closed higher, Germany's DAX was down 0.1% to 13,418. The CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.1% to 6,027, while Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.4% to 7,609.

Wall Street looked set for small gains, with the future contracts for the S&P 500 and the Dow both rising 0.3%.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's chief negotiator, Liu He, signed the “Phase 1" deal on Wednesday before a group of corporate executives and reporters at the White House. The pact eases some sanctions on China. In return, Beijing has agreed to step up its purchases of U.S. farm products and other goods.

The agreement helped propel the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 29,000 points for the first time and the S&P 500 index hit its second record high in three days Wednesday.

The deal done, traders will likely shift their attention elsewhere. China releases an update on its economic growth on Friday. But skepticism over the long-term prospects for resolving key issues remains, analysts said.

In Asia, earlier, Japan's Nikkei 225 added less than 0.1% to close at 23,933.13, while the Kospi in South Korea added 0.8% to 2,248.05. Shares fell in China, with the Shanghai Composite index giving up 0.5% to 3,074.08. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng picked up 0.4% to 28,883.04.

In Australia, the S&P ASX/200 climbed 0.7% to 7,041.80 to a fresh new high, on optimism over the trade deal.