Germany's DAX latest market to strike record high

LONDON (AP) The positive mood in stock markets showed few signs of abating Tuesday as Germany's DAX index struck another record high, a day after the main U.S. stock indexes hit new highs themselves.

Optimism over the U.S. economy, coupled with a wide-ranging package of stimulus measures from the European Central Bank have shored up sentiment in the markets.

"Given the prevailing sentiment it remains difficult to imagine what the catalyst would be to prompt any sort of sharp downward correction," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

However, he noted that "it is hard to escape the feeling of an eerie calm before the onset of a possible storm."

In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.2 percent at 10,024 while the CAC-40 in France rose the same rate to 4,596. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares underperformed its regional counterparts to trade 0.5 percent lower at 6,839.

Wall Street was poised for a fairly steady opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures down 0.1 percent.

"With only a scattering of relatively low-key economic readings on the calendar today including wholesale inventories and small business optimism, the market may struggle to regain the confidence to push out to fresh highs just yet," said Joao Monteiro, an analyst at Valutrades.

Earlier in Asia, the picture was fairly mixed, with Japan's Nikkei 225 closing down 0.9 percent at 14,994.80. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.9 percent to 23,315.74 and South Korea's Kospi added 1.1 percent to 2,011.80.

Elsewhere, the euro remained under pressure as traders priced in the growing differential between future U.S. and eurozone interest rates. The euro was down 0.4 percent at $1.3542.