Asian stock markets retreated on Monday as weaker oil prices hit energy shares, even with many investors sticking to the sidelines as the second quarter winds down.

European shares were set for a stumble in early trade, with futures on the Dow Jones Eurostoxx down nearly 1 percent.

The dollar limped up from a slide late last week on worries about the push by big emerging countries for an alternative reserve currency. China, which holds nearly $2 trillion of reserves believed to be concentrated in dollars, repeated its calls for an end to the dominance of a single currency in global finance.

Asian shares outside Japan have surged by nearly a third in the second quarter, which would be the best quarterly gain in 16 years, as investors embraced the region on hopes it would emerge more quickly from the deepest global recession in decades.

World stocks have mostly shuffled sideways in the past few weeks as investors have questioned how quickly the global economy will return to growth, giving a boost to battered government bonds and pushing yields lower.

Asian manufacturers had cranked up production to increase inventories after having slashed them too sharply at the end of last year, but doubts remain about whether consumer and business demand will improve enough to make growth sustainable.

Japanese economic figures highlighted this trend. Industrial output jumped a hefty 5.9 percent in May, matching the previous month's pace and one of the fastest growth spurts in the post-World War Two period. But forecasts showed that factories expected the recovery to taper off in coming months.

It is a sign of the unusual nature of the current cycle that the strongest rise in output on record can still be viewed as a moderate disappointment, said Richard Jerram, chief Japan economist at Macquarie Securities in Tokyo.

The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> slipped 0.7 percent in light trade after having posted a 2.3 percent rise last week. The drop was slightly bigger than the 0.2 percent dip in the U.S. S&P 500 <.SPX> on Friday.

The MSCI benchmark for Asia is up about 30 percent so far this year, outpacing the 7.4 percent increase in world stocks and the 1.7 percent rise in the S&P 500.

Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> shed 1 percent. Daiwa Securities Group <8601.T> was one of the biggest drags, tumbling 12 percent after announcing a $2.5 billion share sale. Analysts said the size of the capital raising caught investors by surprise.

A drop in oil prices pulled down energy-related shares, with Japan's Nippon Oil <5001.T> losing 2.6 percent. Crude oil lost 58 cents a barrel to $68.58 on easing tensions in major exporter Nigeria.

But the Shanghai Composite Index <.SSEC> bucked the regional trend and climbed 1.2 percent to a one-year peak, getting a lift from hopes that robust bank lending will keep powering the economy through the export downturn.

Earlier a report in China's official People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, said that the torrent of bank credit is pouring too much money into infrastructure projects and creates problems in need of attention.


The dollar inched higher after being hit on Friday when China's central bank renewed calls for a super-sovereign currency to reduce the U.S. dollar's global domination, saying it was a serious defect in the international system for one currency to tower over all others.

On the sidelines of a meeting of central bankers over the weekend, China and Brazil said they were discussing a currency arrangement to allow exports and importers to settle deals in local currencies, thereby avoiding the dollar.

The dollar's status as the key currency won't change right away as moves like this need time and international support, said Shinichi Hayashi, a currency trader at Shinkin Central Bank in Tokyo.

The dollar index, a gauge of its performance against six major currencies, rose 0.4 percent to 80.215 <.DXY>, near a two-week low struck on Friday. The euro retreated 0.5 percent to $1.3990, while the dollar was up 0.1 percent at 95.35 yen.

Government bonds pushed higher, helped in part by the rally in U.S. Treasuries last week after a record $104 billion of debt was sold without causing trouble for dealers.

Foreign central banks were believed to have been hefty buyers at each of the three auctions via indirect bids.

The five-year Japanese government bond yield dipped 1.5 basis points to 0.705 percent, a three-month low. Ten-year JGB yields dropped a basis point to 1.385 percent.

A sale of 10-year JGBs later in the week is expected to be a key test of demand as the market has started to absorb bigger monthly issues that are funding the Japanese government's stimulus spending.

In Asia, Treasuries posted slight gains. The benchmark 10-year note was up 3/32 in price to yield 3.533 percent, holding near a one-month low.

(Additional reporting by Aiko Hayashi in TOKYO; Editing by Jan Dahinten)