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Asian stocks down; Shanghai sees biggest loss in 7 weeks

Asian stocks closed lower on the first trading day of the week, following Friday's uninspiring close on Wall Street and data showing Chinese home prices eased for the first time in 14 months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 shed 0.2 percent, while the Nasdaq edged down 0.1 percent, as investors weighed corporate earnings results and a downbeat housing report.

(Read more: World Bank: G-20 target represents 'paradigm shift')

Investors may focus on comments from a meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bankers in Sydney over the weekend. For the first time, the G-20 said they would aim to boost global economic growth by an additional 2 percentage points over the next five years.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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Shanghai 1.7% lower

Mainland shares extended a two-day losing streak to post their biggest loss in seven weeks on Monday, amid concerns over the property market after local media reported that the Industrial Bank and other banks may have stopped lending to property developers owing to rising risk.

(Read more: China's home prices ease, developers tumble)

Property stocks tumbled; Poly Real Estate and China Merchants Property were the biggest losers with a slump of over 8 percent. Gemdale also lost more than 7 percent.

The latest new home price data in China, which showed house prices fell in January, signalling that government efforts to rein in property risk could be working, did little to lift sentiment.

Banking stocks were also lower, with Minsheng Bank posting the biggest loss, down 3.3 percent.

Tokyo falls 0.2%

Japanese shares lost early momentum as the yen strengthened to trade at 102.3 against the U.S.dollar. It had been an extremely choppy trade, with the benchmark Nikkei touching a three-week high earlier in the session then falling as much as 1.4 percent.

Index heavyweight Softbank fell 0.3 percent, while automaker Honda Motor slid 0.5 percent.

Outperforming the bourse was Rakuten, which gained nearly 3 percent. Sony added on 0.5 percent, after news that the company's Playstation 4 game console met with long lines of buyers last weekend.

Sydney unchanged

Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 managed to stretch its rally into a seventh consecutive session, by overcoming a choppy session to inch up modestly by 0.03 percent.

Index heavyweights Telstra Corporation and Wesfarmers, which were going ex-dividend, lost 2 percent each while drilling services firm Boart Longyear slumped 15 percent, after posting a full-year loss for 2013.

Majority of the mining stocks were also down; Rio Tinto slipped 1 percent while Fortescue Metal and Whitehaven Coal dropped 0.6 percent respectively.

(Read more: CFOs signal fears of consumer spending slump)

Korea down 0.5%

After touching a near one-month high of 1,957 at the end of last week, South Korean shares retreated into negative territory on Monday, as tumbling China stocks weighed on sentiment.

Chungho ComNet was the top loser, tumbling 15 percent. Blue-chip stocks including Kepco and Posco closed in the red with a 1.4 and 0.6 percent loss.

Samsung, which is due to unveil its latest Galaxy S5 smartphone at a mobile trade show in Barcelona on Monday, closed 0.2 percent lower.

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