Additionally, there were also signs that a trade agreement between the USA and China still seems a long way off, with no resolution in sight.
Shares in Japan and Hong Kong underperformed and U.S. equity-index futures dropped as optimism on a trade breakthrough at the end of last week tempered after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow downplayed the potential for a quick deal. The dollar climbed against most of its major peers, but the pound strengthened a third day in four on signs of further progress in Brexit negotiations.
Politics loom large for traders as USA congressional elections, seen as a referendum on the policies of U.S. president Donald Trump, take place Tuesday.
Japan's Topix index fell 0.6 per cent as of 11:22am in Tokyo.
Government bonds in Europe and the USA were mixed, but mostly little changed.
In currencies, the dollar index fell by less than 0.1%, the Euro remained nearly unchanged at $1.1394, the Japanese Yen also stayed more or less the same at ¥113.17 to the dollar, the British Pound went up by 0.4% to trade at $1.3022 but the MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index fell by 0.1%. However, a rally in the banking sector as well as the energy sector pushed up the S&P 500. Asian markets closed mostly down, which also pulled down emerging markets' shares and currencies. The offshore yuan slipped 0.1 per cent to 6.9025 per dollar.
The price of copper went down by 1.5% to trade at $2.7645 per pound. On the Brexit front, Prime Minister Theresa May is due to discuss the latest proposals with her cabinet the same day. Investors then turn their eyes to the Federal Reserve, though officials are expected to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at their penultimate 2018 meeting Thursday.
Elsewhere, oil extended its decline to a seventh day as the U.S. defended the temporary waivers given to eight nations to keep buying Iranian crude after American sanctions against the OPEC producer snap back on Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.7 per cent to US$62.68 a barrel.