Madame Tussauds unveiled their new wax model of Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May in London.
NEW YORK - Global stocks opened the week with a bout of unease on Monday as European stocks drifted downwards and Wall Street narrowly eked out a positive finish amid fears over the long-awaited corporate tax cuts.
Meanwhile, the British pound sank on uncertainty surrounding Prime Minister Theresa May&39;s political future, dealers said.
The pressure on sterling came after reports that dozens of MPs in the ruling Conservative Party were backing a move to oust May, whose leadership has been battered by scandals and crises.
In New York, the major indices finished essentially flat, ending a two-day losing streak but showing the bullish attitudes have dimmed as complications mount in Republican efforts to enact a sweeping tax overhaul eagerly anticipated by Wall Street.
"I don&39;t think investors are expecting a lot from this Congress," Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors told AFP. "I don&39;t think we&39;re going to get tax reform."
Market players got a bit of a boost from news the Senate Banking Committee reached a bipartisan agreement to ease the regulatory burdens on smaller community banks.
But investors also soured on a restructuring plan unveiled by embattled industrial giant General Electric, which cut dividends in half. The company&39;s stock nosedived more than seven percent to its lowest price in more than five years.
A weakened British premier
The pound fell as far as $1.3062 in the European morning -- dangerously close to the $1.3050 level that pessimists believe would trigger a sustained sell-off. But the currency managed to claw back some of its losses by the end of the day.
London&39;s benchmark FTSE 100 index of blue-chip firms got an early boost from the weaker pound, seen to be positive for multinationals, but eventually joined Europe&39;s downward drift, losing 0.2 percent.
Frankfurt and Paris finished down 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
London is under pressure to meet a two-week deadline set Friday by the EU&39;s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier for a deal on exit terms ahead of a December EU summit.
"Clearly the Brexit negotiations are at a crucial juncture," noted Rabobank analyst Jane Foley. "However, without a majority, May&39;s leadership has been weakened and she appears unable to rally her cabinet behind her."
In recent weeks, many major world markets have surged -- with Wall Street hitting several records and Tokyo touching a 26-year high -- on optimism about the global economy and a series of strong corporate earnings.
But investors have started to cash in as worries begin to emerge about high share valuations and the fate of the US tax cuts.