ASX loses 1.3%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 index hit a two-and-a-half-week low as a broad-based decline among its miners and oil producers weighed on the resource-heavy bourse.
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto fell 1.5 and 2.1 percent each after iron ore prices hit a record low following reports of Chinese steel mill closures. Oil and gold-related counters tracked losses in oil and gold prices; Santos and Oil Search lost 3.6 and 1 percent, respectively, while Newcrest Mining slumped nearly 5 percent.
The big four lenders also traded lower; Westpac and National Australia Bank led losses with a drop of 1 percent each, while Australia & New Zealand Banking and Commonwealth Bank of Australia shed 0.7 percent each.
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Nikkei falls 1%
Japan's Nikkei 225 trimmed losses from an intra-day low of 18,733, which was sparked by government data showing the world's third-biggest economy grew less than previously thought in the final quarter of 2014. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew an annualized 1.5 percent in the October-December period, down from an initial reading of 2.2 percent in February, but still showed Japan emerging out of recession.
Heavyweight components including Softbank and Fast Retailing sagged 1 and 1.7 percent each.
A weaker yen, which traded near last Friday's one-month low of 121 to the dollar, failed to lift sentiment; exporters such as Sony fell 1.6 percent, while Honda and Panasonic fell 0.7 and 1 percent each.
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Shanghai Comp up 1.9%
China's Shanghai Composite index staged a strong rebound in the afternoon session, after falling nearly 1 percent in the morning, as gains in banking stocks offset losses in brokerages.
China Construction Bank and Bank of China rallied over 5 percent each, while Bank of Communications and Agricultural Bank of China surged more than 4 percent each. These helped to cover declines in brokerages, which were among the hardest hit on Monday. China Merchants Securities receded more than 4 percent, while Haitong Securities and Founder Securities lost 1.9 and 2.5 percent each.
On the domestic data front, data over the weekend showed a 48 percent surge inChina's exports for the month of February, sharply above analysts' forecasts.