SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian stocks started in muted fashion on Monday as investors braced for a bevy of earnings from the world’s largest corporations, while keeping a wary eye on U.S. bond yields as they approached peaks that had triggered ructions in the past.
Markets were also anxiously awaiting surveys on global manufacturing for April to see if economic softness in the first quarter was just a passing phase linked to poor weather and the Lunar New Year holidays.
On the geopolitical front, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday the North Korean nuclear crisis was a long way from being resolved, striking a cautious note a day after the North pledged to end its nuclear tests.
Oil prices edged down in early trade but were not far from their highest since late 2014. The market had wobbled on Friday when Trump tweeted criticism of OPEC’s role in pushing up global prices, but quickly steadied.
Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were off 13 cents at $73.93 per barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 eased 16 cents to $68.24.
In stock markets, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS dipped 0.1 percent, with South Korea .KS11 off 0.2 percent.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 dithered either side of flat as tech stocks continued to struggle with a warning on waning demand for mobile phones.
Rising bond yields had pressured Wall Street on Friday, though the S&P 500 .SPX still managed to end the week with a slight gain.
More than 180 companies in the S&P 500 are due to report results this week including Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook,