World Bulletin / News Desk
A new poll that favored Republican candidate Donald Trump injected fresh anxiety into US and European equity markets on Tuesday, on week before Americans choose their next president.
In Asia Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index led most major regional markets higher after China's closely watched purchasing managers index hit its highest level in more than two years, indicating that the important manufacturing sector -- and the world's number two economy -- was levelling out.
But as the trading day moved to Europe, early gains for stocks petered out after an ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll found Trump edging ahead of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by one point for the first time since May.
Trump's 46-45 percent lead in the White House race, while well within the margin of error, possibly reflected the renewed controversy over Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as US Secretary of State.
Frankfurt lost 1.3 percent, Paris fell 0.9 percent and London finished 0.5 percent lower.
In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6 percent while the broader S&P 500 declined 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.7 percent.
Globally, investor confidence remains fragile after Friday's bombshell news that the FBI was investigating additional emails connected to Clinton, Wall Street's preferred candidate.
"The market is pricing in a somewhat reduced likelihood of a Clinton victory, but it's not down all the way to pricing in a Trump victory," said Karthik Sankaren, director global strategy of Eurasia Group.
Election jitters also overshadowed the Federal Reserve's meeting, which is expected to leave US interest rates untouched Wednesday but could signal an intention to raise them next month.
The VIX volatility index, which is seen as a measure of the US market's fears, briefly climbed above 20 for the first time since the Britain voted in June to pull out of the European Union. It finished at 18.35, still sharply higher than Monday.
- Gold glitters on uncertainty -
Gold prices continued to climb, jumping more than 1 percent to $1,293 an ounce.
"Gold appears to be being accumulated as a hedge against equity market declines before the US election," said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.
The better-than-expected economic data from China also buoyed the mining sector because the Asian powerhouse is a leading consumer of many metals.
"The commodity space remains supported by rising metals prices and positive China data," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at trading firm Accendo Markets.
Shares in Antofagasta climbed 1.8 percent, while Fresnillo jumped 4.8 percent.
British energy giant BP shed 4.5 percent after a key oil industry profitability measure, underlying replacement cost, tumbled 49 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier.
However, rival Royal Dutch Shell said its profit -- excluding one-off items and stripping out the changing value of oil inventories -- advanced 17 percent, beating forecasts and sending its 'B' share price 4.0 percent higher in London.
- Key figures around 2100 GMT -
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.6 percent at 18,037.10 (close)
New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.7 percent at 2,111.72 (close)
New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.7 percent at 5,153.58 (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 6,917.14 points (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 1.3 percent at 10,526.16 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.9 percent at 4,470.28 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.0 percent at 3,023.15 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 17,442.40 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 23,147.07 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.7 percent at 3,122.20 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1056 from $1.0981 Monday
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 104.12 from 104.82
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2241 from $1.2242
Euro/pound: UP at 90.32 pence from 89.70 pence
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 19 cents at $46.67 per barrel
Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 16 cents at $48.14
AFPLast Mod: 02 Kasım 2016, 09:04