Back in Asia, futures implied a sharply lower open for equities in Japan following the latest development on the Korean peninsula. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were down 1.8 percent at 19,100 compared to the Nikkei 225’s previous close of 19,449.9.

Down Under, SPI futures were off 0.54 percent at 5,679 against the S&P/ASX 200’s Monday close of 5,709.892.

Elsewhere, energy markets continued to process the impact of Tropical Storm Harvey, a downgraded former hurricane. U.S. gasoline futures settled up more than 3 percent at $1.7123 a gallon, Reuters said. Gasoline futures had risen more than 6 percent in the overnight session as refineries in the Houston area were shut down.

Also on the energy front, Brent crude futures shed around 1 percent to settle at $51.89 a barrel and U.S. futures tumbled 2.7 percent to settle at $46.57.

Stateside, oil refinery stocks rose as investors digested the aftermath of Harvey. The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 0.02 percent, or 5.27 points, to close at 21,808.4. Other major indexes recorded slight gains: The S&P 500 added 0.05 percent, or 1.19 points, to end at 2,444.24 and the Nasdaq rose 0.28 percent, or 17.37 points, to close at 6,283.02.

In currencies, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, softened overnight to stand at 92.195 after trading as high as 92.550 earlier in the session.

Investors are also expected to keep an eye on earnings releases in Australia and Hong Kong, with companies such as Shanghai Fosun Pharma and Postal Savings Bank of China expected to report.

The economic calendar for Tuesday is fairly light (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 7:30 a.m.: Japan July labor force
  • 4:30 p.m.: Hong Kong July retail sales

— CNBC’s Christine Wang contributed to this report.