Asia shares decline on deadlocked Italy election
The focus will now be on an Italian treasury bill auction on Tuesday when borrowing costs could rise, given the Senate election result.
The yen's overnight appreciation hit Japan's Nikkei stock average, with the index declining 1.4 percent after closing at a 53-month high the day before.
Investors also await testimony later in the day from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for further clues of when the Fed intends to slow down or stop its bond-buying programme.
Financial markets were rattled last week by minutes of the Fed's January meeting showing some Fed officials were mulling scaling back its strong monetary stimulus earlier than expected.
"Bernanke's testimony will likely drive global market sentiment tonight, as markets wait for clues on the Fed's exit strategy for its bond-buying stimulus program. Our house view is that Bernanke will remain dovish," ANZ said in a note.
Ahead of Bernanke's appearance, Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said on Monday that U.S. economic growth could surpass expectations this year, but an anaemic labour market requires ongoing support from monetary policy.
The United States also faces downside risks to its economy if $85 billion in government-wide "sequestration" spending cuts go ahead on March 1.
U.S. crude slid 0.6 percent to $92.54 a barrel and Brent fell 0.5 percent to $113.86.
Spot gold inched up 0.2 percent
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