US, European stocks fall after Russian metro blast

John BIERS
Investor attention focuses on a highly-anticipated meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping

European and US stocks fell Monday as a deadly subway explosion in Russia rattled the market, along with anxiety over a key a US-China summit later in the week.

Equity markets in Frankfurt, London and Paris all opened higher, but finished solidly negative after about 10 people were killed in an explosion on the Saint Petersburg metro system. Russia opened a probe into a suspected "act of terror" following the incident.

Wall Street stocks also started higher, but later veered into negative territory as US auto sales for March broadly disappointed.

Analysts said questions about the likelihood that President Donald Trump will win tax cuts and achieve other key policy goals also depressed stock buying. Recent stock performance "reflects an ongoing transition from post-election hope to an acceptance of political reality," said a Goldman Sachs note.

Traders said investors were keeping cautious ahead of a meeting this week between US President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping. Other key events this week include the March US jobs report and the release of minutes from the March Federal Reserve meeting at which interest rates were raised.

"Event risk looms large in the form of (US Federal Reserve) minutes, the Trump-Xi meeting and the US jobs report on Friday," said Accendo Markets analyst Mike van Dulken.

"Much attention will be directed towards Donald Trump's pending meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping," said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga. "Any complications or tension in the meeting could spark risk aversion consequently pressuring stock markets."

Tesla Motors surged 7.4 percent after reporting better-than-expected first quarter sales to move past Ford as the second-biggest US automaker by market capitalization behind General Motors. Ford lost 1.7 percent and GM 3.2 percent.

Overall auto sales for March came in at 16.6 million autos, below the 17.2 million units expected by Edmunds.com.

In Japan, Toshiba sank 5.5 percent following reports that the conglomerate may have to delay releasing its earnings for the October-December period for a third time. The company's US nuclear unit Westinghouse last week filed for bankruptcy protection.

- Key figures at 2100 GMT -

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 20,650.21 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.2 percent at 2,358.84 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.3 percent at 5,894.68 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6 percent at 7,282.69 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.5 percent at 12,257.20 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.7 percent at 5,085.91 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.8 percent at 3,472.94

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.4 percent at 18,983.23 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.6 percent at 24,261.48 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: Closed for public holiday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0671 from $1.0658

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2484 from $1.2527

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.91 yen from 111.31 yen

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 36 cents at $50.24 per barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 41 cents at $53.12 per barrel

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