Asian markets edged lower and the euro slipped early on Monday. Meanwhile, Wall Street finished mostly higher in the last session as markets continued to focus on recently announced metals tariffs.
Japan's Nikkei 225 edged down 0.56 percent in early trade amid the firmer yen.
Exporters were mostly lower in the morning, with automakers and technology names coming under pressure. Honda Motor and Toyota were down 1.28 percent and 0.36 percent, respectively. Sony shed 0.65 percent and Nintendo lost 1.11 percent.
Meanwhile, steel producers extended losses seen in the last session, with JFE Holdings down 2.35 percent, while retailers clawed back slight gains. Fast Retailing rose 1 percent.
Meanwhile, South Korea's benchmark Kospi slipped 0.23 percent. Technology names were mixed in early trade, with Samsung Electronics down 0.96 percent and SK Hynix edging up 0.65 percent.
Elsewhere, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 traded lower by 0.3 percent.
Seven of the benchmark's 12 sub-indexes traded in negative territory in the early going, with the materials sub-index declining 0.6 percent. Mining majors BHP and Rio Tinto were down 1.35 percent and 0.98 percent, respectively.
The country's "Big Four" banks traded in negative territory, with the sector edging down 0.6 percent in the morning. Westpac declined 0.91 percent, leading losses in the sector.
Of note, China's National People's Congress will kick off later in the day.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday said the country was targeting GDP growth of around 6.5 percent this year, Reuters reported. That was the same growth target it had in 2017.
Italy's elections in focus
Parliamentary elections in Italy at the weekend look set to result in a hung parliament, according to an exit poll.
The exit poll by Rai state television on Sunday evening showed the anti-establishment Five Star Movement would be the largest single party, but a center-right bloc which features former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party would gain the most seats.
Here's a guide to the key figures and parties in the election.
After climbing above the USD 1.236 handle earlier, the euro pared some gains to last trade at USD 1.2322 as market digested the latest election developments.Also in other political news, members of Germany's Social Democrats party on Sunday voted to back German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.
US stocks mostly higher
Stateside, Wall Street was a mixed picture at the end of Friday trade, although stocks closed above their session lows.
Markets remained focused on U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement last week that tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent would be imposed on steel and aluminum imports, respectively.
Despite negative reactions to the decision, Trump doubled down in a tweet on Friday, saying that "trade wars are good, and easy to win."
The Dow Jones industrial average closed lower by 0.29 percent, or 70.92 points, at 24,538.06. Other indexes closed in positive territory: The S&P 500 ended the day up 0.51 percent at 2,691.25, with health care shares the best performers.
In currencies, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, stood at 89.935 at the end of last week.
Against the yen, the dollar traded at 105.61, a touch below last Friday's close of 105.69.
The yen had firmed on Friday after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda indicated the central bank would think about exiting easy monetary policy if inflation targets are met in fiscal 2019.
On the commodities front, oil prices extended gains seen in the last session. US West Texas Intermediate rose 0.59 percent to trade at USD 61.61 per barrel. Brent crude futures tacked on 0.57 percent to trade at USD 64.74 after settling almost one percent higher on Friday.
What's on tap
8:30 a.m.: Japan Nikkei services PMI
Here's the economic calendar for Monday (all times in HK/SIN): 9:45 a.m.: China Caixin composite and services PMIs12:00 p.m.: Malaysia balance of trade