European markets mixed ahead of US and Russia meet over Syria (Reuters).
European markets witnessed mixed trading ahead of a crucial meet between the US and Russia over the Syrian government's chemical weapons stock pile.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.1% higher to 383.43.
Britain's FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 opened flat.
Germany's DAX 30 opened 0.1% higher.
Italy's FTSE MIB was up 0.19% in early trade.
Spain's IBEX 35 was up 0.76% in early trade.
Western powers want the Syrian government to hand over its chemical weapons. US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on 12 September to explore a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis.
US President Barack Obama said on 10 September he would give diplomatic efforts a chance in solving the Syrian crisis, but insisted that the US military would be prepared to act if such initiatives failed to yield results.
Market participants in Europe will be tracking the ECB's monthly report on prevailing economic conditions alongside ECB President Mario Draghi's speech.
In company news, Britain's fourth-largest supermarket chain Morrissons said that its pretax profit dropped to £344m in the six months to 4 August, from £440m a year ago. The Board has decided to increase the interim dividend by 10% to 3.84 pence per share.
Retailer John Lewis, retail delivery group Ocado and clothing firm Next will also put out their earnings updates during the day.
In other news, the UK's Royal Mail will be floated onto the London Stock Exchange within weeks as the British government confirmed to the markets its intention to launch an initial public offering for the postal service.
Meanwhile, Saudi real estate tycoon Mohammed bin Issa al Jaber proposes to sue London-based Barclays and its former US lawyers over alleged corrupt practices in Saudi Arabia that resulted in damages worth $10bn for his firms.
News of the legal dispute comes ahead of Barclays' multi-billion pound rights issue, rolled out to plug an over £12bn shortfall in capital.
In Asia and the US
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei finished 0.26% lower on 12 September. Australia's S&P/ASX closed 0.15% higher while South Korea's Kospi ended 0.01% higher.
Earlier in Asia, most markets shed early gains on Thursday as concerns surrounding the timing and size of the US Federal Reserve's planned reduction in monetary stimulus weighed on investor sentiment.
In Japan, government data showed that core machinery orders remained flat in July, 2013 when compared to June. Analysts polled by the Nikkei newspaper predicted a 2.4% increase in machinery orders, which fell 2.7% the previous month.
Elsewhere, the Bank of Korea left its policy interest rate unchanged at 2.5% and said the Korean economy was improving.
In India, the government will release July factory data and August retail inflation numbers after the stock markets close on 12 September.
In China, addressing an international audience at the World Economic Forum in Dalian on 11 September, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stated his government remained committed to economic reform.
In Australia, government data released on 11 September showed the country's unemployment rate shot up to a four-year high of 5.8% in August. Australian firms shed 10,800 workers in August, way below expectations of a 10,000 increase.
On Wall Street, most indices ended higher on 11 September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 135.54 points higher at 153,26.60, propped up by IBM and Disney.
The S&P 500 closed 5.14 points higher at 1,689.13. However, the Nasdaq ended 4.01 points lower at 3,725.01, pulled down by Apple which finished 5.44% lower.
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