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Asia Markets: Asian stocks slip to end mostly positive month

Asian shares generally started Monday with slight declines as investors took profits on the last day of a largely positive month for stocks in the region that benefited from robust earnings and higher commodity prices.

Traders want to hold cash as the possibility of tax and infrastructure overhauls in the U.S. fades, said Hao Hong, head of research at BOCOM International in Hong Kong.

A number of markets struggled for direction Monday as end-of-week declines continued in the U.S. dollar, which remained near its worst levels in a year.

That added pressure on Japanese stocks, which have lagged behind this month and put the Nikkei NIK, -0.04% on the verge of its first monthly decline since March.

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