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Global stocks mostly fell Monday as a heavy week of earnings and economic news kicked off with a pair of disappointing US reports that underscored worries about slowing Chinese growth.
This week’s calendar includes the resumption of closely-watched US-China trade talks in Washington following a series of tariff announcements and tit-for-tat countermeasures by the two countries against each other.  
Economists say that and other trade battles are weighing on global growth, especially in China, where weakness hit two bellwether US companies on Monday.
Shares of industrial giant Caterpillar slumped 9.1 percent after projecting weaker-than-expected 2019 profits, in part due to slower sales in China.
A weak China outlook also weighed on chip company Nvidia, which dove 13.8 percent after releasing disappointing forecasts.
Some US companies with big China presences such as Nike and General Motors have downplayed China’s slowdown as a concern for their companies, while others, including Apple, which reports results on Tuesday, have described Chinese economic weakness as a headwind to profits.
Other earnings this week include Amazon, Boeing, Pfizer and Exxon Mobil.
‘This is a very key week,’ said Bill Lynch at Hinsdale Associates. ‘China is now the most important topic in the market.’
Major US indices finished the session solidly lower, with the S&P 500 falling 0.8 percent. 
Earlier, European bourses also retreated, along with Tokyo, while oil prices finished solidly lower, due in part to worries about weakening Chinese demand.
Trade accord?
On the trade front, hopes that a deal can be struck between the United States and China helped fuel a rally this month in global equities which had been hammered in December.
‘Although coming to an agreement is still tricky, both sides have little incentive to escalate tensions,’ said Tai Hui, chief market strategist for Asia-Pacific at JP Morgan Asset Management.
‘Markets will at least expect an extension of the truce in tariff increases beyond early March, while more difficult issues are still being worked on by both sides.’
As well as the Wednesday-Thursday meeting in Washington, dealers are also eyeing the US Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, where the central bank’s statement will be pored over for an idea about its interest rate plans.
Also coming up is the release of US jobs data and Chinese manufacturing activity results.
Among individual companies, Brazilian miner Vale plunged 24.5 percent, a loss of more than $18 billion in market capitalization, as investors reacted to the collapse of one of its dams that killed scores and left hundreds missing.
Vale, the world’s biggest iron ore miner, has seen its reputation severely tarnished by the deadly accident – the second involving a company-owned mine in the southeast Brazilian state of Minas Gerais in just over three years.
Key figures around 2145 GMT
New York – Dow: DOWN 0.8 percent at 24,528.22 (close)
New York – S&P 500: DOWN 0.8 percent at 2,643.85 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 1.1 percent at 7,085.68 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.9 percent at 6,747.10 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.6 percent at 11,210.31 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.8 percent at 4,888.58 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.8 percent at 3,137.27 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 20,649.00 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: FLAT at 27,576.96 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 2,596.98 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1428 from $1.1406 at 2200 GMT Friday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3162 from $1.3196
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.38 yen from 109.55
Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN $1.71 at $59.93 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN $1.66 at $51.99 per barrel