In corporate news, shares in mining company Xstrata Plc rose over 3 percent after it recommended to shareholders the merger with Glencore Plc. The deal would create an industry behemoth with revenues of around $175 billion.
In Asia, markets in China, Hong Kong and South Korea were closed for public holidays. In Tokyo, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell after a closely watched survey showed confidence in the economy weakening.
The Bank of Japan's "tankan" confidence index was minus 3, a worsening from the previous quarter's minus 1. The index is a percentage of the companies with a positive outlook versus those who see unfavorable conditions ahead, so a minus number means there are more pessimistic companies than optimistic ones.
The Nikkei 225 index shed 0.8 percent to 8,796.51. Toyota Motor Corp. lost 1.7 percent and Nishimatsu Construction Co. slid 4.2 percent.Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was marginally higher at 4,388.60, with losses in some sectors offset by solid gains among big banks and resource shares. Trading was light due to a public holiday in parts of the country. Benchmarks in Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia fell. India rose. Benchmark oil for November delivery was down 16 cents to $92.03 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 34 cents to finish at $92.19 per barrel on the Nymex on Friday. In currencies, the euro rose to $1.2897 from $1.2855 late Friday in New York. The dollar was flat at 77.99 yen. ___ Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.
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