* Asian stock markets:
* MSCI Asia-Pacific index up 0.1%, Nikkei adds 0.2%
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, May 27 (Reuters) - Asia stocks edged up early on Monday,
and the euro was confined to a narrow range after the weekend's
European Parliament elections highlighted the deepening political
fragmentation of the 28-country bloc.
The euro was a shade higher at $1.1211, holding within a tight
$1.2272-$1.2754 range in what was a limited reaction to so far the
Estimates after the European Parliament polls closed on Sunday
showed that the two largest centrist groups - the European Peoples'
Party (EPP) to the right and the Socialists & Democrats (S&D)
on the left - will no longer hold a majority in the new 751-seat
Analysts said the single currency's muted reaction to the
preliminary vote outcome came as the results showed populist and
far-right parties in some countries were unlikely to have gathered as
much support as anticipated. .
A centrist, pro-EU coalition would still be possible in the new
chamber that will sit for the first time on July 2nd. But it would be
more difficult to piece together among more numerous partners,
according to the European Parliament's estimates.
The longer-term impact of the election, therefore, remained
unclear, analysts say.
"It's difficult to foresee what will happen to Brexit, the
political situation in Italy and elections in Greece just by looking
at the vote count," said Shin Kadota, senior strategist at
Barclays in Tokyo.
"We may not see an immediate market reaction, as the election
outcome will have to seep in first before beginning to have a
political impact on the various countries."
The pound was 0.1% higher at $1.2727 . Sterling had bounced back
from a near five-month trough of $1.2605 after British Prime Minister
Theresa May said she would quit early next month.
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies
inched down 0.05% to 97.563.
In equities, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan added 0.1%.
Gains were limited by persistent concerns that the China-U.S.
trade conflict was fast turning into a technology cold war between the
world's two largest economies.
Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.2%.
Wall Street's major indexes edged higher on Friday in a rebound
from the previous session's losses after comments from U.S. President
Donald Trump regarding trade relations with China gave the wary
markets a bit of a respite.
U.S. crude futures crawled up 0.38% to $58.85 per barrel,
trimming some of the deep losses suffered last week when trade
tensions clouded the global demand outlook for the commodity.
Brent crude rose 0.79% to %69.24 per barrel.
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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