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The S&P 500 has ended slightly lower following a drop in oil prices that weighed on energy shares and offset a jump in financials as Bank of America's results reinforced expectations of a strong US earnings season.
Australian shares fell nearly half a per cent on Monday, led by losses in healthcare stocks, while soft weekend property auction results undermined banks, whose business model relies heavily on home loans.
US stocks have risen slightly, putting the S&P 500 at its highest closing level in more than five months, as gains in industrials and other areas offset a drop in financials after results from three of the big banks mostly disappointed.
Gold edged higher as the US dollar eased off a six-month high against the Japanese yen, but bullion failed to gain traction as traders said US-China trade tensions so far were boosting the greenback instead of the precious metal.
Brent crude has strengthened, recouping some of its losses from the previous session as market focus returned to concerns about spare capacity following a warning from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Gold prices have slipped as US threat of tariffs on an additional $US200 billion of Chinese goods pushed safe-haven flows to the US dollar and dashed hopes that Washington would eventually step back from the escalating row.
Global benchmark Brent crude oil has had its biggest one-day drop in two years as escalating US-China trade tensions threatened to hurt oil demand, and news that Libya would reopen its ports raised expectations of growing supply.
US stocks have fallen, breaking a four-session streak of gains after Washington's threat to impose tariffs on an additional $US200 billion ($A270 billion) worth of Chinese goods fanned trade war fears, while a sharp drop in oil prices hit energy shares.
Wall Street's S&P 500 index rose for a fourth session to post its highest close since February 1, the day before the market began a sharp extended selloff, as strong results from PepsiCo boosted optimism about the earnings season.
Oil prices have gained, with US crude ending a choppy session higher on expectations for a Canadian production outage lasting until September, while global benchmark Brent gained on looming sanctions on Iran and falling output in Libya.