(MENAFN - AFP) Stock markets in Europe and the US slipped Friday after several days of gains as investors took a breather in the absence of fresh news on trade talks between Beijing and Washington.
Earlier, Asian markets ended the week mostly on a higher note.
Key European markets were up to half a percent lower in the mid-afternoon, while Wall Street slipped by a similar percentage at the opening bell.
"US stocks are lower in early action, following a five-session rebound, with the markets bracing for the upcoming earnings season that coincided with the market tumult in Q4," said analysts at Charles Schwab.
- 'Taking breather' -
This week investors have been riding a wave of optimism on signs that China and the United States could eventually reach a trade deal -- but there has been no concrete news yet, although both sides indicated that talks had been productive.
"Traders have yet to hear any further details about the US-China trade talks," said CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden.
"European equity markets have enjoyed a good run in recent weeks, and now they appear to be taking a breather."
Sentiment was also boosted this week after Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell indicated the US central bank will likely slow the pace of interest rate hikes.
Fed minutes Wednesday showed policymakers are happy to hold off any more rate hikes as they assess the state of the economy, backing up dovish comments last week by Powell.
There was a slight wobble in New York after Powell on Thursday suggested the central bank's securities holdings should be "substantially smaller" -- a sell-off by the Fed of such assets would likely lift money market rates.
But the general mood remained upbeat as a number of other top Fed officials indicated they were happy to see a break in hikes.
- Key figures around 1435 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 6,921.38 points
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.4 percent at 10,878.38
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.5 percent at 4,779.77
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,065.44
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.5 percent at 23,875.00
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 20,359.70 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.6 percent at 26,667.27 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.7 percent at 2,553.83 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1492 from $1.1500 at 2200 GMT
Dollar/yen: UP at 108.47 yen from 108.43
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2797 from $1.2747
Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN 83 cents at $60.85 per barrel
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 55 cents at $52.04