➤ China seen avoiding fresh tariffs; Democrats set out Trump impeachment articles.
➤ Dollar slips as Fed meets.
➤ Sterling gains as UK GDP growth stalls, ahead of snap elections.
Wall Street reversed most of its premarket losses amid growing bets that China will avoid a new round of U.S. tariffs, originally due to take on this weekend.
The S&P 100 slipped 0.1% while the Nasdaq 100 was flat around 9:30 a.m. ET.
Negotiators from both camps are setting the stage to delay fresh tariffs on Chinese products, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing U.S. and China officials. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Dec. 9 that he does not expect the Dec. 15 round of tariffs to be implemented but hoped for some "movement" by Beijing toward a pact.
Separately, the U.S. House of Representatives set out two impeachment articles against President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, U.S. and Canadian officials are reportedly visiting Mexico today to finalize the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, setting the stage for a vote in U.S. Congress.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 was down 0.4%. Ashtead Group PLC's shares fell 7.1% following its fiscal second-quarter earnings. Ted Baker PLC's shares plunged 13.2% after the U.K. apparel, accessories and luxury goods brand delivered a profit warning for fiscal 2020 due to worse-than-expected trading in the run-up to Christmas and said its CEO and chairman quit.
Germany's DAX declined 0.7% and France's CAC 40 ticked 0.1% down.
Earlier in Asia, the Shanghai SE Composite gained 0.1% as China's annual headline inflation hit the highest level since early 2012 amid a continued rise in pork prices. Japan's Nikkei 225 ticked down 0.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.2%.
In currencies, the dollar index was trading 0.1% lower as the Federal Reserve was due to begin its two-day monetary policy meeting today. Markets are nearly fully pricing in a hold decision by the Fed.
Sterling was up 0.2% against the dollar. The U.K. economic growth stalled in October, following a contraction in September. The Japanese yen slipped 0.1%.
The euro appreciated 0.1% versus the dollar while 10-year German Bund yields were little changed at negative 0.303% after German economic sentiment rose more than expected in December.
Elsewhere in the debt market, yields on 10-year Treasurys were flat at 1.817%.
Japanese 10-year bond yields lost 2 basis points to negative 0.022%, having risen earlier to zero percent for the first time since March.
Among commodities, Brent crude was little changed at $64.28 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange, while gold added 0.5%.
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The day ahead:
6:50 p.m. ET – Japan PPI (Econoday consensus: 0.2% monthly)