LONDON (AFP) - World stock markets were turning mixed Monday as already nervous investors waited for Tuesday's US presidential vote, seen as a potential key turning point for handling of the financial crisis. European markets had been much higher in early trade, picking up from strong gains in Asia, but then slipped back after an indifferent opening on Wall Street where the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped a few points after gains on Friday of 1.57 percent. "Presumably, a wait-and-see attitude has taken shape ahead of Tuesday's presidential election," said Patrick O'Hare, analyst at "Also ... it stands to reason that investors are waiting to see if last week's rally has some staying power or was simply a run that will bring sellers back at the higher prices," he added. In Europe around 1445 GMT, the FTSE 100 index of leading shares in London was down 0.23pc, the CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.34pc and the DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.10pc. In Asia earlier Monday, Hong Kong closed up 2.7pc, Sydney added 5.06 percent and Singapore jumped 5.0pc. Tokyo was shut for a public holiday. "Markets remain jittery and a likely global recession should fuel further uncertainty going forward," said Dresdner Kleinwort analyst Valentin Marinov. Marinov said widely expected interest rate cuts, led this week by the European Central Bank, should re-assure investors but "we doubt that the bounce in sentiment will grow into a lasting recovery in risk appetite, however. "Fundamental data disappointments as well as worse than expected European bank earnings this week could put an early end to the cautious recovery in sentiment," he said. European markets were additionally hit by data showing that the worst financial crisis for generations had driven the EU economy into a recession and that growth be close to a standstill in 2009. "The economic horizon has now significantly darkened as the European Union economy is hit by the financial crisis that deepened during the autumn and is taking a toll on business and consumer confidence," said EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia. Markets were eagerly awaiting Tuesday's US presidential elections, with polls giving Democrat Barack Obama a sharp edge over Republican John McCain on the last day of campaigning. "In the context of the current financial climate, it is possible that an Obama victory could well provide the necessary spark for optimism to return to the markets," said Joshua Raymond, market strategist at City Index in London. "The US election has historically sparked a surge in the markets and given the circumstances of an impending Obama victory, you wouldn't bet against history," he added. "With financial markets staying relatively stable, the focus this week will be on the raft of (interest) rate decisions and economic data scheduled for release," noted Barclays Capital analyst David Woo.