Asian shares started the week lower on Monday, adding to last week's tumble, as strong Chinese data failed to soothe worries about sluggish global growth. Volumes were also light with Japan shut for a holiday.
Chinese exports surged 15.3 percent in September from the year-ago period, beating the 11.8 percent gain expected in a Reuters poll. Imports meanwhile rose 7 percent, versus forecasts for a decline of 2.7 percent and following a fall of 2.4 percent in August.
"The strength seems to have been driven by a surge in imports for processing and re-export. As such, it mostly reflects a brighter export outlook rather than a pick-up in domestic demand," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist, at Capital Economics in a note.
The report follows a global selloff last week, which saw U.S. markets post their third weekly loss on fears of the euro zone re-entering recession and speculation of higher interest rates in the U.S.
Sentiment was also dampened after member countries of the International Monetary Fund said over the weekend that bold action was needed to bolster the global economic recovery, urging governments to carry out key labor market and social security reforms.
Meanwhile, oil markets remained under pressure on Monday after Kuwait's oil minister reportedly said on Sunday that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is unlikely to cut production to support falling prices. Top exporter Saudi Arabia said that it was comfortable with prices below $90 a barrel.