New York (AFP) - US stocks eked out modest gains Monday but European markets closed mostly lower as investors tried to shake off the rout last week driven by jitters over China's economic woes.
Asian shares though were hit harder by another tumble in China's markets, with the key Shanghai index losing 5.3 percent. While Tokyo was closed, Hong Kong shares sank 2.76 percent.
On Wall Street, after the worst opening week of a year on record, US stocks started the new week "resiliently", said analysts at Charles Schwab.
"Looking to shake off last week's solid declines, the bulls showed some stamina in today's session, shrugging off enduring concerns over China and another sharp decline in crude oil prices, to bounce off the lows of the day and finish mixed," they said in a note to investors.
US stocks rebounded in final-hour trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.32 percent and the broad-market S&P 500 index up 0.09 percent.
But the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite could not keep gains, ending 0.12 percent lower.
Wall Street investors were gearing up for the fourth-quarter earnings season unofficially kicked off by Alcoa after the market closed.
The aluminum giant reported a net loss of $500 million for the final quarter and $121 million for 2015 on the back of restructuring costs, in line with market estimates. Alcoa shares rose 1.6 percent in after-hours trading.
JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Intel are among the companies on this week's earnings horizon in the US.
After flipping between ups and downs, European bourses closed moderately lower, but still pleasantly surprising analysts as they easily outperformed shares in China, which plunged around five percent, hard on the heels of last week's rout.
- Stopping the panic? -
James Hughes, chief market analyst of GKFX, said Monday's losses in Shanghai initially raised fears for European indices.
Weak data on consumer and factory prices over the weekend added to concerns about China's economy.
However, Hughes said, "a remarkable unexpected and unexplained performance" in the region's markets helped to "potentially stop the panic".
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 0.69 percent. In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 fell 0.25 percent and the Paris CAC 40 sagged 0.49 percent. But the broader Euro Stoxx 50 gained 0.2 percent.
The euro fell to $1.0858 around 2200 GMT from $1.0922 at the same time Friday.
In company news, shares in US biotech firm Baxalta dropped 2.3 percent after it accepted Dublin-based pharmaceutical group Shire's $32 billion cash-and-stock bid aimed at forming a global biotech giant targeting rare diseases.
Heavyweight Apple gained 1.6 percent after the Financial Times reported its new music streaming service topped 10 million subscribers in the first six months.
Oil prices continued their slump, falling below $32 a barrel for the first time in 12 years. Shares in oil majors Chevron and ExxonMobil on the Dow dropped a respective 1.7 percent and 1.3 percent.
- Key figures around 2200 GMT -
New York - Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 16,398.57 points (close)
New York - S&P 500: UP 0.1 percent at 1,923.67 points (close)
New York - Nasdaq Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 4,637.99 points (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.7 percent at 5,871.83 points (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.3 percent at 9,825.07 points (close)
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.5 percent at 4,312.74 points (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,037.95 points
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 5.3 percent at 3,016.70 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 2.8 percent at 19,888.50 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for public holiday
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0858 from $1.0922 Friday
Dollar/yen: UP at 117.77 yen from 117.26 yen Friday