Asia Markets

Asia stocks fall on China slowdown fears; Shanghai at 2-month low

Asian stocks fell on Monday, with the mainland and Australia leading the losses, as concerns about a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy offset Friday's positive lead from Wall Street.

Data released over the weekend showed further signs of distress in China's property market. Prices rose 6.7 percent in April from a year ago, down from a 7.7 percent gain in the previous month. Additionally, Beijing announced new regulations for interbank lending late on Friday in an attempt to crack down on shadow banking.

"The fear is that the glut of housing supply in tier-3 cities could morph into a domino effect from cash-stretched developers to over-exposed bank balance sheets. For now, the sense is that China's property market is only cooling (albeit a tad faster in some regions); not crashing. Thus the worst fears should be kept at bay," said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank.

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Shanghai skids 1%

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index ended at its lowest level since March 20.

Financials fell on Beijing's new interbank lending rules, which includes capping the size and maturity of loans. Minsheng Bank, Industrial Bank and China Merchants Bank all tumbled over 3 percent each.

Property developers were hit following April's home price data. China Merchants Property lost nearly 3 percent and Poly Real Estate eased 2 percent.

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ASX slips 1%

Australia's resource-heavy benchmark index ended at a one-month low on weakness in miners as iron ore prices looked close to dropping below the key $100 mark. BHP Billiton eased 1.7 percent, Rio Tinto fell 3 percent and Fortescue Metals dropped over 4 percent.

Blue-chip banks were also to blame for the index's declines. Three of the country's 'Big Four' lenders shed over 1 percent each after hitting highs earlier in May on positive earnings results.

Food company Goodman Fielder rallied 3.7 percent after its board backed a higher takeover offer from Wilmar. The Singaporean company and First Pacific upped its bid for Goodman to A$1.37 billion late last week.

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Private demand growth in Japan is rising: Pro
Private demand growth in Japan is rising: Pro

Nikkei slips 0.6%

Japanese shares also ended at a one-month low, extending losses into a fourth session. Earlier in the session, the benchmark rose on upbeat data released before the market open that showed machinery orders surged an annual 16.1 percent in March, blowing past estimates for a gain of 4.2 percent.

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Tokyo Electron jumped over 5 percent after shares of U.S.-listed Applied Materials, which agreed to buy the Japanese firm last year, rallied on Friday.

Grocery store chain Maruetsu closed up 9.5 percent after the Nikkei said that the company will be one of three stores to be merged with retail giant Aeon under a joint venture with Marubeni.

Kospi flat

South Korean shares managed to reverse early losses to end at a fresh 2014 high, thanks to a 1 percent bounce in index heavyweight Samsung Electronics on strong foreign capital inflows.

Daewoo Engineering and Construction declined 2.7 percent despite winning a $910 million highway construction project in Qatar.

Politics to hurt FDI in Thailand, Vietnam: ANZ
Politics to hurt FDI in Thailand, Vietnam: ANZ

Emerging markets higher

Indian shares gained 1 percent after surging to record highs last week in celebration of Narendra Modi's election victory. Meanwhile, the rose to a fresh eleven-month high against the dollar.

Read MoreIndia's Modi has a clear mandate but can he deliver?

Thailand's benchmark SET Index posted modest gains despite data showing that the economy shrank more than expected in the first quarter.