Asian stocks were mixed on Monday following a muted finish on Wall Street last week, with investors holding their breath ahead of key earnings results from US tech behemoths.
Wall Street ended slightly up on Friday after a relatively calm week as a wait-and-see mood took hold of markets ahead of earnings data from the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet and Facebook owner Meta.
"Mega tech earnings will be important this week for the rally in risk sentiment since the beginning of the year," Tapas Strickland of National Australia Bank said.
Traders will also be looking for clues about the US Federal Reserve's next steps on interest rates, with swaps markets suggesting they anticipate a peak around the corner, followed by a series of cuts in the coming months.
Analysts, however, warned that upcoming US data on growth, inflation and wages could see that forecast change.
"The thought that the Fed is going to aggressively cut into year end is misleading," Kim Strand, head of fundamental research and ESG integration for Franklin Templeton Investment Solutions, told Bloomberg Television.
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"We believe what the Fed is saying: that it will hike and stay there until you see these areas of inflation coming down."
Tokyo was up on Monday, as was Wellington, while Taipei was relatively flat. Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney and Seoul were all down.
Still, Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a note that as investors waited for clues, "counterbalancing forces in the global economy are helping to keep the ship sailing on an even keel".
"A remarkably resilient US labour market, robust China data, and the lack of other crises from regional banks have all helped to keep stocks range-bound," he added.
In China, however, the rebound following the end of growth-sapping zero-Covid policies is likely to cool, he said, relying now on higher income growth and improved consumer sentiment.
"So the easy part is done; now, the consumer will need to do the bulk of the heavy lifting," he said.
Also this week, investors will be watching important economic data from South Korea, Australia and the eurozone, as well as Bank of Japan chief Kazuo Ueda's approach as he chairs his first key policy meeting.
Key figures around 0245 GMT
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 28,646.39
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.6 percent at 19,948.43
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,286.77
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0983 from $1.0993 on Friday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2436 from $1.2446
Dollar/yen: UP at 134.42 yen from 134.09 yen
Euro/pound: UP at 88.31 pence from 88.30 pence
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.9 percent at $77.16 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.9 percent at $80.96 per barrel
New York - Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 33,808.96 (close)
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,914.13 (close)