BANGKOK (AP) -- World stock markets were muted Monday after the Chinese premier's downbeat comments on the world's No. 2 economy injected caution ahead of two days of testimony to Congress by the Federal Reserve chief.
The weekend comments from Web Jiabao came after China reported that economic growth fell to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter. Growth was down from the previous quarter's 8.1 percent, damping hopes that China can make up for U.S. and European weakness, but in line with the government's official target of 7.5 percent for the year
Wen said China's economy has not yet entered a recovery and "economic difficulties may continue for some time." He vowed more measures to help struggling sectors.
As trading got underway in Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.1 percent at 5,663.06 and France's CAC 40 lost 0.1 percent to 3,177.81. Germany's DAX gained 0.1 percent to 6,562.40. Wall Street was set to fall with Dow futures off 0.2 percent at 12,687. Broader S&P 500 futures were down 0.2 percent at 1,348.40.
Market attention is now turning to quarterly corporate earnings and to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.
There have been expectations the Fed might loosen monetary policy even further to help reinvigorate the stalled U.S. recovery. But analysts say Bernanke is unlikely to foreshadow policy changes in his testimony.
In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng inched up 0.2 percent to 19,121.34 and South Korea's Kopsi rose 0.3 percent to 1,817.79. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.6 percent to 4,105.10. Markets in Indonesia and the Philippines also rose.
China's Shanghai Composite lost 1.7 percent to 2,147.96. Japan's markets were closed for a public holiday.
In energy trading, benchmark crude for August delivery was down 50 cents at $86.60 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.02 on Friday to finish at $87.10 per barrel in New York.
The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.2220 and the dollar fell 0.3 percent to 79.05 yen.