Most of the Asian equity benchmarks are trading lower in the early deals on Monday after US President Donald Trump suffered a legislative defeat last Friday when Republican leaders pulled a bill to overhaul the US health care system with the dollar weaker and gold prices up. The Japanese market is notably lower following the lackluster cues from Wall Street Friday and as a stronger yen weighed on exporters' shares. Among the other Asian markets, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia are also edging lower. Bucking the trend, Shanghai, and Malaysia are modestly higher.
Nikkei 225 dipped 273.93 points or 1.42% to 18,988.60, Hang Seng dropped 67.55 points or 0.28% to 24,290.72, Straits Times decreased 16.57 points or 0.53% to 3,126.33, Jakarta Composite slipped 18.62 points or 0.33% to 5,548.52, KOSPI Index contracted 12.27 points or 0.57% to 2,156.68, and Taiwan Weighted was down by 27.04 points or 0.27% to 9,875.94.
On the flip side, Shanghai Composite added 4.57 points or 0.14% to 3,274.01, and FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was up by 3.49 points or 0.20% to 1,749.24.