Asian equities mirrored Wall Street to trade mixed on Monday as cautious sentiment set in after fresh conflict in Ukraine at the weekend. Investors were also closely watching China's new home prices which posted a third consecutive month of decline in July.
U.S. stocks ended the week mixed in below-average trade volume after news of fresh conflict in Eastern Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 percent while the S&P 500 shaved losses to close little changed. The Nasdaq reversed declines to gain 0.3 percent last Friday.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, rose more than 8 percent to trade near 13.49. But the indicator was down 17 percent for the week, the largest weekly loss in 4 months.
In Ukraine, Kiev claimed on Sunday that its army had advanced into the eastern city of Lugansk, marking a breakthrough in a four-month-long campaign against separatists backed by Russia.
The White House on Sunday said President Barack Obama had authorized U.S. air strikes in Iraq to help retake control of the Mosul Dam and that the action was consistent with his goal of protecting U.S. citizens in that country.