NEW YORK -- Global stocks were mixed Tuesday as the White House sent conflicting messages about the likelihood of a trade deal with China at this week's G-20 summit.
Markets in Europe and Asia finished mostly lower after US President Donald Trump on Monday appeared to dismiss the idea of agreement with Beijing at the Group of 20 leaders' meeting.
But the more upbeat comments on Tuesday from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on the possibility of an agreement cheered investors.
"There's a good possibility we can make a deal and he's open to it but certain conditions have to be met, certain things have to be changed," Kudlow told a White House briefing.
Karl Haeling at LBBW said, "There is not a lot of optimism for a real meaningful lasting agreement, but the market is now looking at the possibility for at least a symbolic sort of agreement that does not really deal with the longer term issues."
"Possibly (Trump) could surprise people and make a deal."
US stocks reversed early declines and finished modestly higher, with the S&P 500 climbing 0.3 percent.
The increases also followed solid US consumer confidence data and upbeat comments from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida that hinted at a more cautious approach to more interest rate hikes.
Bourses in London, Frankfurt and Paris all fell modestly.
The pound was under pressure as Trump took aim at an agreement struck between British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Union leaders on terms of their divorce.
"Sounds like a great deal for the EU," he said Monday. But he added that "they may not be able to trade with us, and that wouldn't be a good thing."
But May, who is lobbying the public ahead of a crucial December 11 vote in parliament, dismissed the criticism.
"We will have an independent trade policy and we will be able to negotiate trade deals with countries around the rest of the world," May said.
"As regards the United States, we have already been talking to them about the sort of agreement that we could have in the future.
Among individual companies, General Motors slid 2.6 percent after Trump threatened to end subsidies to the company following its decision to cut jobs and shutter seven factories in Ohio, Michigan and other areas.
KEY FIGURES AROUND 2140 GMT (5:40 a.m. Wednesday in Manila)
New York - Dow Jones: UP 0.4 percent at 24,748.73 (close)
New York - S&P 500: UP 0.3 percent at 2,682.20 (close)
New York - Nasdaq: FLAT at 7,082.70 (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,016.85 points (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.4 percent at 11,309.11 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 4,983.15 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.2 percent at 3,166.42 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.6 percent at 21,952.40 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.2 percent at 26,331.96 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 2,574.68 (close)
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2729 from $1.2827 at 2200 GMT
Euro/pound: UP at 88.71 pence from 88.41 pence
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1293 from $1.1328
Dollar/yen: UP at 133.79 yen from 113.58
Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN 27 cent at $60.21 per barrel
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 7 cents at $51.56 per barrel
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