Global stock decline on growth, Brexit worries; Wall St. gains

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of global equities stumbled on Monday, as losses in Europe and Asia extended to Wall Street on new signs world economic growth was being curbed by the U.S.-China trade spat, but was off early lows as U.S. stocks turned positive.

Confusion stemming from British Prime Minister Theresa May’s abrupt decision on Monday to delay a vote on her Brexit deal weighed heavily on European shares.

“The news of the day is clearly the delay in the Brexit vote. That adds to the political confusion that’s weighing on the market globally,” said David Joy, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial in Boston.

Sluggish data from the world’s largest economies including the United States, China, Japan and Germany have disappointed investors in recent days, along with growing skepticism that Washington and Beijing will be able to reach a trade deal before the expiration of a 90-day window.

China reported far weaker-than-expected November exports and imports, showing slower global and domestic demand and raising the possibility authorities will take more measures to keep the country’s growth rate from slipping too much.

On Wall Street, major indexes rebounded from an initial drop and posted solid gains, due in part to a recovery in Apple shares. Shares had slumped more than 3 percent as chip supplier Qualcomm Inc QCOM.O said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the importation and sale of several older iPhone models in China due to patent violations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 34.31 points, or 0.14 percent, to 24,423.26, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 4.64 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,637.72 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 51.27 points, or 0.74 percent, to 7,020.52.

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Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.2558, down 1.32 percent on the day. The dollar index .DXY rose 0.72 percent.

MSCI's all-country index .MIWD00000PUS was on pace for its fifth straight decline and is down nearly 6 percent over that period, its worst five-day stretch since February. The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX lost 1.87 percent and MSCI's gauge shed 0.83 percent.

Last week’s arrest of the chief financial officer of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] for extradition to the United States was seen as another hurdle to resolution of the trade war brewing between the world’s two biggest economies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Sunday there was a “hard deadline” to the ceasefire and that Washington would impose new tariffs on Chinese goods unless trade talks wrapped up successfully by March 1.

In another sign of a global slowdown, Japan posted the worst contraction in over four years in the third quarter as companies slashed capital spending.

The weakening indicators have taken a heavy toll on oil prices, which have slumped around 30 percent since early October. U.S. crude CLcv1 settled down 3.1 percent at $51 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $$59.97, down 2.8 percent, on the day.

Additional reporting by Sinéad Carew; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Sonya Hepinstall