Asian stock market indices were trading lower on Monday (27 February), with the Shanghai Composite down 0.41% at 3,240.56 as of 5.48am GMT as investors await Donald Trump's speech on Tuesday.
The markets seemed to be focused on the US president's speech to a joint session of Congress where he is expected to give some insights into his tax reform plans, which had pushed the markets up in recent times.
Weiling Chang, a Mizuho Bank currency strategist was cited by CNBC as saying: "Given the diminished expectations, we are hopeful that Trump, with the help of his speechwriters, could imbue optimism back into markets over his proposed tax reforms in his speech to Congress."
Meanwhile, according to a few analysts, investors also continued to remain on the sidelines amid political concerns in France. Investors fear that the far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen will win the 2017 presidential elections and lead France out of the eurozone.
ANZ strategists were cited by Reuters as saying: "With the market getting impatient with Trump's proposed stimulus spending programme, the rising political uncertainty around the globe is getting the bulk of the market's attention."
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 6am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||23,886.75||Down||0.33%|
On 24 February, the FTSE 100 closed 0.38% lower at 7,243.70 while the S&P 500 index closed 0.15% higher at 2,367.34.
Among commodities, oil prices gained as global supply appeared to ease. As of 12.53am EST, WTI crude oil was up 0.61% at $54.32 (£43.69) a barrel, while Brent crude was trading 0.71% higher at $56.39 a barrel.