Muted trading volumes across many financial assets on Monday and the dollar rising to a three-week high underscored investor caution against making big bets in the face of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and the Korean peninsula.
Caution prevailed across major markets on Wednesday before a potentially tense meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week, although metals and oil prices firmed on a hope of better global demand.
Stocks recovered while the dollar hovered above four-month lows on Tuesday as anxiety over Donald Trump's setback on healthcare reform gave way to tentative hopes for the U.S. president's planned stimulus policies.
Oil prices, down for a fifth straight day on Monday, were an outlier in a relatively calm start to an event-packed week for global markets as investors braced for a potential interest rate hike in the United States, a Dutch election and the first G20 finance ministers' meeting of the Trump era.
European shares were poised to fall for a seventh straight session while the dollar edged lower with investors largely holding back as the contentious U.S. presidential campaign entered its final week.