Investors are hoping for a deal on trade between the world's two largest economies and were encouraged last week by news that talks will resume in October. Economists expect the Fed to cut interest rates when it meets next week. Separately, the European Central Bank is expected to unveil new monetary stimulus measures on Thursday to help shore up the region's economy.
"Markets look to be adrift ahead of the slew of events this week including the likes of the European Central Bank where further support for the markets is expected," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.
France's CAC 40 slipped 0.2% to 5,580 in midday trading, while Britain's FTSE 100 was about flat at 7,230. Germany's DAX rose 0.2% to 12,255. In the U.S., Dow futures were close to flat at 26,832. S&P 500 futures were also down 0.1% at 2,975.
Investors in the U.S. have taken a shine to smaller company stocks in hopes that they'll be better shielded from the fallout of the costly trade war between the U.S. and China than large multinationals.
The broader market has bounced back the past two weeks following volatility brought on by the trade war as Washington and Beijing imposed new tariffs on more of each other's goods. The escalation of tariffs is seen to be dampening global economic growth and threatening to nudge the United States into a recession.
Trading wrapped up in Asia with Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 adding nearly 0.4% to finish at 21,392.10. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.5% to 6,614.10, while South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.6% to 2,032.08. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was virtually unchanged, moving down less than 0.1% to 26,657.04, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.1% to 3,021.20.
ENERGY: Benchmark crude rose 35 cents to $58.20 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 43 cents to $63.02 a barrel. CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 107.39 yen from 106.96 yen on Monday. The euro inched down to $1.1035 from $1.1037.