US stock futures slip, hope dims for Europe deal

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NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street futures are falling as differences between officials in Europe dim the prospects of a deal to save the euro at this week’s summit of European leaders.

Less than an hour before the market’s opening, Dow futures fell 0.4 percent to 12,092, while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 futures fell 0.2 percent to 1,252.

Overseas investors had been optimistic that EU leaders would agree Friday on a strategy that will allow the 17 countries that use the euro to link up their economies more closely. But those hopes were dimmed when a German official cast doubt on any agreement for a far-reaching deal at the summit.

Stocks in Germany and France and London gave up earlier gains. The euro fell 0.3 percent to $1.3364.

Earlier Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he is very encouraged with the progress Europe is making in coming up with a plan to shore up the euro in the wake of a crippling debt crisis. Geithner’s comments to reporters followed a meeting with French Finance Minister Francois Baroin on the second day of his whirlwind trip through Europe.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.7 percent to end at 8,722.17 — its highest close in a month. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.9 percent to 1,919.42 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.6 percent to 19,240.58.

Mainland Chinese shares edged higher, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbing 0.3 percent to 2,332.73, ending a five-session losing streak.

Oil prices, meanwhile, gave up early gains. Benchmark crude for January delivery was down 14 cents to $101.14 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.