Asian stocks were subdued early on Monday after Wall Street's sluggish performance at the end of last week, while the dollar hovered near nine-month highs as fresh comments from a Federal Reserve official boosted bets of a rate hike by year-end. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched down 0.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei stood little changed, while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.4 percent.
By Henning Gloystein SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices fell early on Monday as Iraq said it wanted to be exempt from any deal by producer cartel OPEC to cut production to prop up the market, and as U.S. drillers stepped up work. International Brent crude oil futures were trading at $51.61 per barrel at 0051 GMT, down 17 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 20 cents at $50.56 a barrel.