Asia Markets

Asia stocks mostly lower on China growth fears; Japan shut


Asian stock markets were mostly lower on Monday following weak Chinese data while overall trading volumes were light with Japan closed for a holiday.

Over the weekend, China released a raft of data that raised concerns about a weakening economy. August industrial output rose 6.9 percent on year, its slowest pace since 2008, while fixed-asset investment and retail sales both missed forecasts.

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Geopolitics also weighed on sentiment with fighting reported in eastern Ukraine on Saturday in breach of an eight-day ceasefire. Meanwhile, Australia became the first country to join the U.S. coalition fighting Islamic State militants and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said he's looking into increasing military participation following the beheading of a British hostage.

Investors were also looking ahead to Thursday's independence vote in Scotland and the Federal Reserve's policy decision on Wednesday.

ASX down 0.8%

Australia's benchmark index fell to a new one-month low, extending losses into a third session.

Macquarie, the country's largest investment bank, rallied over 1 percent after forecasting a 2015 net profit of A$1.3 billion, higher than 2014's profit of A$1 billion.

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Rare earths miner Lynas tumbled more than 13 percent after announcing that it ceased negotiations on debt restructuring with Nomura.

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China shares mixed

The mainland's benchmark Shanghai Composite index reversed earlier losses to enter positive territory in the afternoon, gaining 0.3 percent.

Oil producer Sinopec erased earlier gains, slipping 0.5 percent on news that it is selling a $17.4 billion stake in its retail unit.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong shares fell to a more than one-month low.

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Kospi sheds 0.3%

South Korean shares edged lower, ending just two points shy of a new one-month closing low. Data out before the market open showed August import prices fell at their fastest pace in 17 months.

KB Financial lost over 5 percent after chairman Lim Young Rok refused to resign following orders from the country's banking regulator over charges of alleged managerial failures.

Nifty slips 0.6%

Indian shares tracked Asia-wide losses after August's wholesale price inflation (WPI) rose 3.7 percent on year, lower than expectations for a 4.5 percent gain.