LONDON (AP) — With U.S. markets closed for the Labor Day holiday, stocks overseas have started the week on a lackluster note.
The index of leading British shares closed just a tenth of a point higher, while Germany's main index showed a similar gain. In Asia, stocks in China and Tokyo posted moderate gains.
In Europe, the crisis in Ukraine remains a key source of interest for traders. Today, there were signs that a breakthrough may be in the offing as pro-Russian rebels appeared to soften their demand for full independence. They said they would respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for autonomy.
There are some worrying signs that the global manufacturing sector is waning. Two surveys showed China's manufacturing growth slowed in August as export demand and investment weakened. And that raised expectations Beijing might launch more stimulus.