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European stocks droop; Paris hit by glitch

Major European stock markets dropped Monday as a technical hiccup hit Paris and investors weighed the chances of a US stimulus package, dealers said.

At the delayed closing bell, the Paris benchmark CAC 40 index had given up 0.1 percent, after it was shut for three hours early in the day owing to an unspecified technical problem according to operator Euronext.

Frankfurt slipped by 0.4 percent, while Madrid gained 0.2 percent.

London lost 0.6 percent as sterling rose, which weighs on the share prices of multinationals earning in dollars.

In New York, the Dow Jones index was 0.2 percent lower in midday trading.

In Asia, most bourses advanced on hopes for a new US coronavirus stimulus plan, though Shanghai turned lower after data showed China's economy had grown at a slower pace than expected.

World oil prices were mixed on the Chinese data, ahead of a monthly gathering of crude-producing nations.

Stimulus plan

High among items that investors tracked was the potential for more US fiscal stimulus ahead of the November 3 presidential election that pits President Donald Trump against challenger Joe Biden.

"The sluggish performance suggests investors are tired of false hopes and want to see some solid action rather than just empty promises," remarked Fawad Razaqzada at ThinkMarkets.com.

Time is running out for US lawmakers to reach an agreement on coronavirus support, but Razaqzada noted that traders were also wary of dumping stocks because "all it takes is a tweet or two from Trump to send the markets surging higher."

At the weekend House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a Tuesday deadline for a deal, while Trump urged his Republican Party to offer more than the $1.8 trillion they have put forward, adding that he would be willing to go higher than the Democrats' $2.2 trillion proposal.

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held talks over the weekend and more were planned on Monday.

In London, traders remained on edge over the possibility that Britain and the European Union will not reach a post-Brexit trade agreement after Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week said he was ready to walk away without one.

With the two sides blaming each other for a lack of movement, senior British minister Michael Gove on Sunday said he was still hopeful there would be a deal.

In Asia, investors digested news that China's economy expanded at a slower rate than expected in July-September.

The 4.9 percent rate was short of the 5.2 percent tipped by analysts in an AFP poll, but it was a big improvement on the previous quarter.

Key figures around 1745 GMT

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6 percent at 5,884.65 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.4 percent at 12,854.66 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 4,929.27 (close)

Madrid - IBEX 35: UP 0.2 percent at 6,860.20 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,235.16

New York - Dow Jones: DOWN 0.2 percent at 28,539.06

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.1 percent at 23,671.13 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.6 percent at 24,542.26 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.7 percent at 3,312.67 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1787 from $1.1718 at 2100 GMT

Dollar/yen: UP at 105.43 yen from 105.40 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2995 from $1.2915

Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.70 pence from 90.73 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.2 percent at $41.05 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: FLAT at $42.95

Topics: European stock markets , drop , US stimulus package , Euronext , COVID-19
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