TOKYO (AP) -- World stock markets stalled Tuesday, weighed down by global worries about the impact of the eurozone debt crisis, while investors also stayed on the sidelines ahead of a speech by the U.S. central bank chief.
Investors were awaiting remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for clues about whether the Fed will buy more government bonds or take other action to try to speed up the U.S. economic recovery.
European stocks were lower in early trading. Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.2 percent to 5,764.33. Germany's DAX fell 0.6 percent to 7,004.68. France's CAC-40 lost 0.7 percent to 3,438.46. Wall Street appeared headed for a higher open, with Dow Jones industrial futures rising slightly to 13,110. Standard and Poor's 500 futures rose less than 0.1 percent to 1,409.
Earlier in Asia, the Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei lost 0.6 percent to close at 9,003.29. South Korea's Kospi index was down nearly 0.1 percent to 1,916.33, while the Hang Seng index inched up marginally to 19,811.80. Key indexes dipped in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan, while rising in New Zealand, mainland China and Australia.
Nobuhiko Kuramochi, head of the investment information department at Mizuho Securities Co. in Tokyo, said that traders were not going to make major moves ahead of key events later in the week, including Bernanke's speech in Wyoming.
Traders were also looking ahead to the release of U.S. April-June gross domestic product data set for Wednesday.
"Attention is on how overseas markets are faring as those herald major risks," Kuramochi said. "With Japanese exports already declining, they will determine the momentum of manufacturing issues."
Also weighing on sentiments was a monthly Japanese government report on the economy, released Tuesday, whose language on the main assessment was changed — to a more pessimistic one, for the first time in 10 months — to highlight concerns about weaknesses, stemming from dwindling exports.
Concerns about a slowdown in China, the major driver of growth in recent years, were behind the change, Japan's Cabinet Office said.
Among issues, Sharp Corp., a troubled Japanese electronics maker, which has nose-dived over the last several months, recouped 9.1 percent amid expectations it will gain some cash.
In Seoul, shares of Samsung Electronics rose 1.3 percent, clawing back some of the value lost Monday, when the stock plunged 7.5 percent in reaction to a U.S. court order that Samsung pay rival Apple $1 billion in damages for illegally copying its products.
Investors are waiting on prospects for more economic stimulus from central banks in China and the U.S. and a financial stability plan from the European Central Bank.
Economists have been warning the debt crisis in the 17-country eurozone could eventually catch up with Germany. Troubles elsewhere are starting to make themselves felt. Italy and Spain, the No. 3 and No. 4 eurozone economies, are in recessions as they try to reduce budget deficits and struggle to refinance their debts in bond markets.
Benchmark oil for October delivery rose 71 5 cents to $96.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 68 cents to end the day at $95.47 in New York on Monday.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.2543, up from $1.2503 late Monday in New York. The dollar fell to 78.54 yen from 78.75 yen.