Asia stocks flat, euro holds firm

On Monday Asia stocks hovered near four-month lows amid concerns about U.S.-China tensions while the euro was confined to a narrow range after the weekend’s European Parliament elections. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was virtually flat, a sliver above from a four-month low touched on Friday, with market holidays in the U.S. and U.K. denting trading volumes. Japan’s Nikkei average was up 0.3% by its midday break. Chinese shares began day higher but then slipped, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite down 0.3% and the blue-chip CSI 300 falling 0.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.5%.

Wall Street’s major indexes edged higher on Friday in a rebound from the previous session’s losses after Trump`s comments on trade relations with China provided markets with a bit of a respite. The single currency’s muted reaction came as the results showed populist and far-right parties in some countries were unlikely to have gathered as much support as anticipated.

It’s difficult to foresee what will happen to Brexit, the political situation in Italy and elections in Greece just by looking at the vote count, as Shin Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays in Tokyo, said. The pound was 0.2% higher at $1.2731 and sterling had bounced back from a near five-month trough of $1.2605 after British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would quit. The euro was a shade higher at $1.1211, holding within a tight $1.2272-$1.2754 range. The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies inched down 0.1% to 97.565.