Markets dipped in Asia and Europe on Monday as investors look ahead to the release this week of key US inflation data that could provide a guide for the Federal Reserve's plans for interest rates going into the new year.
With Wall Street seeing little action at the back of last week owing to the Thanksgiving break, traders had few catalysts to drive action, though analysts were upbeat about the end of the year.
The retreat in equities comes after a recent run-up across world markets fuelled by bets the US central bank has finished lifting interest rates as inflation comes down and the jobs market comes off the boil.
The main focus this week is the release Thursday of the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed's preferred gauge of inflation.
"These numbers will be closely scrutinised for insights into inflation trends and their potential implications for monetary policy decisions," said SPI Asset Management's Stephen Innes.
"While the current backdrop does not signify 'mission accomplished' in terms of addressing inflation, policymakers must now focus on planning for the next phase of the economic battle."
After a tepid half-day of business Friday in New York, Asia drifted lower.
Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Mumbai, Bangkok and Wellington were all in the red.
London and Frankfurt fell at the open, and Paris was flat.
Still, observers were upbeat about the outlook, with the latest weakness blamed on traders taking a breather after a strong month.
Tony Sycamore, at IG Group, said early December could see some selling as investors "rebuild energy and (look) to set up for the end-of-year fireworks".
Others said a drop in Wall Street's VIX "fear gauge" -- a measure of equity volatility -- to its lowest since January 2020 suggested investors were getting their mojo back.
Eyes are also on developments at OPEC after the group and its allies delayed a meeting aimed at agreeing production quotas, with some African countries said to be baulking at Saudi Arabian calls for more cuts.
The group is thought to be close to reaching an agreement that could see the Saudis and Russia extend output reductions into the new year.
Crude prices have fallen in recent weeks as demand is seen coming down owing to slowing economies, particularly China's, and the Middle East conflict appears to not have expanded to include other countries in the region.
Key figures around 0810 GMT
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.5 percent at 33,447.67 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.2 percent at 17,525.06 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,031.70 (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,473.87
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 149.00 from 149.56 yen on Thursday
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0947 from $1.0922
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2611 from $1.2585
Euro/pound: UP at 86.81 pence from 86.79 pence
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.5 percent at $75.15 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.5 percent at $80.12 per barrel
New York - DOW: UP 0.3 percent at 35,390.15 (close)