European stock markets traded mixed and the euro edged up against the dollar on Monday with the focus on EU talks over Greek debt amid tension over the outlook for the United States.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.25 percent to 5,783.84 points in afternoon trading and Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.29 percent to 7,184.47 points while in Paris the CAC 40 dipped 0.18 percent to 3,417.41 points.
Greece's unrelenting debt drama topped the agenda as eurozone finance ministers discussed whether Athens has met conditions set by its international creditors to provide bailout funds needed to keep the country afloat.
Greece has "delivered" on its economic reform pledges and a long-awaited report from its troika of creditors -- the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund -- is "positive", said Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the Eurogroup of finance ministers, before the meeting.
However no decision was expected in Brussels on Monday on delivering a much-awaited fresh aid tranche of 31.5 billion euros ($40 billion) held back since June.
"European leaders meet later today, where investors hoped the group would sign off on the payment to Greece; however it looks like that won't happen for a numbers of weeks yet," noted David Madden, a market analyst at IG trading group.
"It's shaping up to be a reasonably dull day for the markets, with investors listening for any further developments from Europe."
In foreign exchange activity, the euro edged up to $1.2718 from $1.2709 late in New York on Friday.
Gold prices dipped to $1,735.75 an ounce from $1,738.25 on Friday.
US stocks opened with modest gains after last week's slump, lifted by encouraging China trade data that signaled renewed momentum in the world's second-biggest economy.
In the first five minutes of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.11 percent to 12,829.21 points.
The broad-market S&P 500 advanced rose 0.24 percent to 1,383.11, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.45 percent to 2,917.81 points.
Asian markets closed mixed earlier in the day as news that Japan's economy shrank in the third quarter and fears over the US "fiscal cliff" offset another round of healthy Chinese data, traders said.
In the United States, rival politicians must reach a deal by January 1 to avoid the shock of $600 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes which observers say would tip the country back into recession.
Meanwhile, indications that the Chinese economy is emerging from a drawn-out slumber were reinforced on Saturday when figures showed that exports rose 11.6 percent year-on-year in October, following a near 10 percent jump in September.
The numbers, which were released as the Communist Party holds its 18th Congress and prepares for a once-a-decade leadership transition, came a day after officials said Chinese industrial output had surged last month.
However, while the Chinese economy continues to show signs of a resurgence, Japan said gross domestic product had shrunk 0.9 percent in the July-September period from the previous three months.
The news came after Japan posted its worst September trade figures for 30 years as exports slumped, with analysts blaming the continued strength of the yen, a territorial spat with Beijing and the debilitating debt crisis in Europe.
"News at the weekend that the Chinese trade surplus hit a four-year high... has helped assuage concerns that the Chinese economy is slipping back," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.