MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat, retaining most of its 0.36 percent gain from yesterday.
Japan’s Nikkei .N225 fell more than 0.1 percent, driven lower by demand for the safe haven yen.
Australian shares were up 0.2 percent, ahead of the central bank’s policy meeting later in the session when it is expected to keep interest rates on hold.
Yesterday, U.S. stocks posted losses of as much as 0.37 percent after Trump signed a revised executive order, effective March 16, banning citizens from six Muslim-majority countries from travelling to the United States for 90 days.
The new ban, coming after his first attempt was blocked in the courts, removes Iraq from the list and applies only to new visa applicants.
Trump’s allegations over the weekend that he was wiretapped by his predecessor Barack Obama, without offering any evidence, have also raised concerns about his ability to focus on his promised economic measures, including tax cuts and a boost to infrastructure spending.
“While we don’t pretend to know how (political) events will play out in the coming weeks and months, we suspect that they will continue to dominate the headlines, affecting investors’ appetite for risk,” Oliver Jones, assistant economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note.
“Nonetheless, economic fundamentals have typically mattered more for equity prices. And we assume that this will remain the case.”
European stocks also posted losses, with Deutsche Bank’s (DBKGn.DE) 7.9 percent loss the biggest drag on the FTSEurofirst 300 index FTEU3 after the German lender unveiled an 8 billion euro cash call as part of a major reorganization.
The dollar index .DXY, which tracks the greenback against a basket of trade-weighted peers, inched higher to 101.70 early today, adding to yesterday’s 0.1 percent gain.
The euro EUR=EBS was flat at $1.05795, following a 0.4 percent slide yesterday after former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe ruled out standing in the country’s presidential elections. Weakness in the single currency underpinned the dollar index.
A poll on Friday showed that if Juppe replaced the scandal-hit Francois Fillon as the centre-right candidate, he would likely win the election’s first round, with centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron coming second – a scenario that would knock anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen out of the race.
The dollar was lower against the safe haven yen JPY=, holding at 113.88, after yesterday’s 0.1 percent loss.
The Australian dollar AUD= advanced 0.16 percent to $0.7595.
In commodities, U.S. oil CLc1 pulled back almost 0.1 percent to $53.16 a barrel, extending yesterday’s 0.2 percent drop, on ongoing concerns that U.S. production growth may undermine output cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. – Reuters