European shares mixed after sharp drops in Asia, US

A woman walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Shares fell moderately in Asia on Thursday after another torrent of selling on Wall Street sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting more than 600 points, erasing its gains for the year. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A man walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 in Tokyo. Shares fell moderately in Asia on Thursday after another torrent of selling gripped Wall Street overnight, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting more than 600 points and erasing its gains for the year. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index sank sharply on the open but leveled off, regaining some lost ground. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
A woman walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Shares fell moderately in Asia on Thursday after another torrent of selling on Wall Street sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting more than 600 points, erasing its gains for the year. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A man walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. Shares fell moderately in Asia on Thursday after another torrent of selling on Wall Street sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting more than 600 points, erasing its gains for the year. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A man looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index and other countries index at a securities firm Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 in Tokyo. Shares fell moderately in Asia on Thursday after another torrent of selling gripped Wall Street overnight, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting more than 600 points and erasing its gains for the year. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index sank sharply on the open but leveled off, regaining some lost ground. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
A man walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 in Tokyo. Shares fell moderately in Asia on Thursday after another torrent of selling gripped Wall Street overnight, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting more than 600 points and erasing its gains for the year. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index sank sharply on the open but leveled off, regaining some lost ground. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
A man looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 in Tokyo. Shares fell moderately in Asia on Thursday after another torrent of selling gripped Wall Street overnight, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting more than 600 points and erasing its gains for the year. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index sank sharply on the open but leveled off, regaining some lost ground. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

BANGKOK — Stock prices were mixed Thursday in early European trading as markets settled somewhat after steep declines in Asia and the U.S. spurred by worries over trade and the U.S. economy.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 were higher, suggesting a likely revival of buying sentiment.

Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.3 percent to 6,943.14 while Germany's DAX added 0.1 percent to 11,198.04 and the CAC 40 in France climbed 0.7 percent to 4,987.78.

It was unclear if the gains were a return to calm or only a respite from the torrent of selling on Wall Street overnight that spurred further selling of technology-related shares in Asia.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index swooned 3.7 percent to 21,268.73. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended 1 percent lower at 24,994.46 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 sank 2.8 percent to 5,664.10.

But late in the day, the Shanghai Composite index erased its early losses to end up only 0.5 points at 2,603.80. Benchmarks in Thailand and Indonesia also logged gains.

As in New York, Asia's losses were heaviest for technology companies. Semiconductor maker Tokyo Electron lost 4.3 percent and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. dropped 4.4 percent. South Korea's Samsung Electronics sank 3.6 percent and Japanese telecoms and energy giant Softbank lost 4.4 percent.

Other sectors also felt the pain.

Toyota Motor Corp. gave up 2.7 percent while Hong Kong-based retail supply chain giant Li & Fung Ltd. lost 1.3 percent. Also in Hong Kong, airline Cathay Pacific's shares dropped as much as 6.5 percent but ended 3.8 percent lower after it said it had discovered a data breach affecting 9.4 million passengers.

Still, some market observers were taking the latest bout of volatility in stride.

"I think the Hong Kong market is really very close to bottom, because when you look at the value, it's very extremely cheap. So how low can it get? Maybe it will reach 24,000 before we find the bottom," said analyst Francis Lun of Geo Securities.

In New York, the futures contract for the S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent to 2,678.70 while that for the Dow also jumped 0.5 percent, to 24,738.00, suggesting recent losses may have whetted appetites for bargains.

The Nasdaq composite with its hefty roster of tech stocks has now fallen more than 10 percent below its August peak in what Wall Street calls a "correction." Its 4.4 percent tumble on Wednesday to 7,108.40 was its biggest drop since August 2011 but it is still up 3 percent for the year.

The S&P 500 has lost about 9.4 percent from its Sept. 20 peak and has given up its gains for the year, as has the Dow. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks is down 4.4 percent for the year.

Disappointing quarterly earnings and outlooks are stoking investors' worries that Corporate America's tax cut-fueled earnings growth will fade in coming months as interest rates rise and the trade conflict with China raises costs.

Recent signs the housing market is cooling are adding to jitters over prospects for U.S. economic growth.

A shift into less volatile assets has pushed bond prices higher, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note down to 3.12 percent from 3.16 percent late Tuesday.

About 24 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 had reported third-quarter results as of Wednesday. Of those, 57 percent delivered earnings and revenue results that topped Wall Street's forecasts.

As selling in share markets abated, other markets also regained equilibrium.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 9 cents to $66.73 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday it edged up 0.6 percent to settle at $66.82 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 8 cents to $76.25 a barrel.

The dollar rose to 112.31 yen from 112.23 yen. The euro rose to $1.1410 from $1.1393.

___

Katie Tam in Hong Kong contributed to this report.

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