* Markets wary of Dec. 15 tariff deadline
* European stocks down for second day
* German ZEW sentiment higher than expected
* Fed, ECB meetings eyed
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Government debt and global stock markets held steady on Tuesday as uncertainty kept risk appetite in check just days ahead of a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
Investors were torn by remarks that once again suggested a positive outcome to the 17-month U.S.-Sino trade war, yet also indicated a deal might not come until after U.S. presidential elections in November 2020.
Prospects for an initial "phase one" trade deal look good, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said at a Wall Street Journal event.
But Mulvaney also repeated U.S. President Donald Trump's assertion that he did not feel pressured to get a trade agreement signed with Beijing before the election.
Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey, called the back and forth typical but also sounded a note of caution.
"They're going to posture one way then posture the other way, and that's classic negotiation," Saluzzi said. "That's fine, we can all wait for that. But until you see the actual news, we really don't know."
Stocks meandered near break-even, with MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.01%.
Shares in Europe traded slightly lower while stocks on Wall Street edged higher after Canada, Mexico and the United States closed in on a new North American free trade deal that gave U.S. stocks a slight pop, Saluzzi said.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.28 points, or 0.03%, to 27,917.88, the S&P 500 gained 2.7 points, or 0.09%, to 3,138.66 and the Nasdaq Composite added 19.97 points, or 0.23%, to 8,641.79.
Market moves were fairly muted as investors awaited developments from U.S. and European central bank meetings. The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to hold interest rates steady after cutting them three times this year.
U.S. Treasury yields rose after the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators were planning to delay $156 billion in U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports scheduled to take effect on Dec. 15.
Benchmark 10-year notes fell 4/32 in price to yield 1.8433%.
Germany's benchmark Bund yield inched up to -0.29% after the ZEW research institute said its monthly index on economic morale among investors rose to 10.7 from -2.1 a month earlier, much higher than forecasts.
The dollar slipped against the euro on a better-than-expected German economic sentiment survey.
The dollar index fell 0.19%, with the euro up 0.28% to $1.1093.
The Japanese yen weakened 0.15% versus the greenback at 108.73 per dollar.
Oil prices rose.
Brent crude rose 21 cents to $64.46 a barrel by 1445 GMT, and West Texas Intermediate oil gained 23 cents to $59.25 a barrel. (Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Richard Chang)