Asian shares inched higher and the dollar was pressured with investors growing cautious ahead of new indicators that could flag slowing U.S. economic momentum.
Overnight, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell to 51.3 from 54.2 in February, with new orders, a key indicator of future growth, accounting for much of the fall.
U.S. stocks fell as trading resumed on Monday after an early close on Thursday, when the Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX touched a record high before markets closed for the Good Friday holiday.
"The weak manufacturing ISM points toward softening activity at the end of Q1 and reinforces concerns that the fiscal tightening may adversely affect growth in the remainder of the year," Barclays Capital said in a research note.
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