European stocks slipped after their biggest gain of 2009 as utilities slumped. US index futures fluctuated, while Asian shares climbed.
E.ON AG extended its two-day decline to 7.3 percent after Germany's biggest utility predicted a profit drop.
"Company outlook statements are dire and earnings visibility is extremely low across the market," said Chirin Gill, a London-based fund manager at Daiwa SB Investments, which has $60 billion.
The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index fell 0.2 percent to 165.63 at 9:30 am in London, extending its 2009 slump to 17 percent. The regional gauge surged 5.1 percent on Tuesday, the steepest jump since Dec 8, as Citigroup Inc's Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said the bank is having its best quarter since 2007.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 2.6 percent yesterday after HSBC Holdings Plc also said earnings are improving.
Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.1 percent after falling 0.5 percent. The benchmark index for US equities surged 6.4 percent on Tuesday, rebounding from a 12-year low as all 10 industry groups advanced. The rally only lifted the S&P 500 to the highest level since Feb 27.
Losses at financial companies reaching almost $1.2 trillion worldwide and disappointing results from Anglo American Plc to Bayer AG have sent the MSCI World Index of 23 developed markets 21 percent lower this year.
(China Daily 03/12/2009 page17)