Asian equities started the week mostly lower on Monday following declines on Wall Street last week and as escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia weighed on sentiment.
Developments in the Crimean peninsula were in the spotlight after pro-Russian separatists took control of the Ukrainian city of Slaviansk on Saturday, prompting a warning by Ukraine to disarm or face its military forces. In response, the United Nations Security Council kicked off an emergency meeting early on Monday to discuss the crisis.
"Naturally, this has caused many to feel the prospect of a Russian-backed civil war is closer, and the comment from the Polish prime minister over the weekend 'that over the past few hours we've witnessed the worst-case scenario playing out in Ukraine' has been noted," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in a note.
On Friday, U.S. stocks declined with the Dow and the S&P 500 down 1 percent each while the Nasdaq tallied its third weekly drop on the back of mixed first-quarter earnings. JPMorgan Chase posted results below expectations, Gap reported a drop in same-store sales, while Wells Fargo saw a better-than-projected rise in net profit.