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Global stocks mostly edge down ahead of US debate

By JOE McDONALD
AP Business Writer
Global stocks mostly dipped on Tuesday as investors looked ahead to a debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and his challenger in the November election, Joe Biden.
Shares turned down slightly in European trading after indexes in Shanghai and Tokyo advanced.
The FTSE 100 in London lost 0.4% to 5,904 and Frankfurt’s DAX shed 0.4% as well, to 12,816. The CAC 40 in Paris retreated 0.1% to 4,837.
The futures for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were both off 0.1%. On Monday, 90% of stocks in the S&P 500 rose. The index is on track to close out September with a loss of 4.2% after five months of gains.
Investors awaited Tuesday’s 90-minute televised Trump-Biden debate. It comes amid trade tension with China and rising coronavirus deaths. Tens of millions of Americans are out of work.
Markets are watching the November election’s impact on tax policy and how long it might take to determine the winner.
“With a reasonable polling lead, one could argue that Joe Biden has more to lose here than President Trump,” said Robert Carnell of ING in a report. He noted that with some potential for gaffes or other colorful moments, the debate might be “cringe-worthy but unlikely to deliver an electoral car-crash for either side.”
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2% to 3,224.36 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong retreated 0.8% to 23,275.53. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo edged 0.1% higher to 23,539.10.
Shares in Japanese telecom giant NTT Corp. fell 2.7% after news reports said it plans to take its mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo private. DoCoMo said it would announce news after a board meeting Tuesday.
The Kospi in Seoul advanced 0.9% to 2,327.89 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 was unchanged at 5,952.10.
India’s Sensex gained 0.5% to 38,167.66. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets declined.
Tech stocks led an earlier rebound in global share prices, but investors began to worry they were overpriced, leading to a new sell-off.
Investors’ confidence has been supported by infusions of central bank credit into struggling economies and hopes for development of a coronavirus vaccine.
However, the U.S. Congress still is arguing over the size of a new support package after additional unemployment benefits that helped to support consumer spending that powers the biggest global economy expired.
A monthly unemployment report due out Friday from the government could help to shed light on an economic recovery.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 35 cents per barrel to $40.25 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 32 cents to $42.55 per barrel in London.
The dollar gained to 105.64 Japanese yen from Monday’s 105.51 yen. The euro rose to $1.1704 from $1.1676.