Asian stocks stumbled on Monday, as falling energy prices and disappointing manufacturing data out of China ignited "risk-off" sentiment.
The final reading for Caixin China purchasing managers' index (PMI) for July came in at 47.8, lower than the preliminary reading of 48.2 and marking a two-year low.
The figure also comes in below the official PMI figure released by the statistics bureau over the weekend. Growth at big manufacturing firms unexpectedly stalled last month with the official PMI standing 50.0 in July, compared with the previous month's 50.2 and below a Reuters' forecast of 50.2, as demand at home and abroad weakened.
A preliminary Caixin/Markit survey released earlier this month showed activity at smaller factories contracted by the most in 15 months. The index fell to 48.2 in July, coming in well below the 49.7 forecast from a Reuters poll and the 50-mark separating growth from contraction.
Wall Street finished mildly lower on Friday, the final day of trade for July, as investors digested missing in energy corporate earnings and soft U.S. data that could push an initial rate hike further out. According to government data, the second-quarter employment cost index recorded its slowest quarterly pace of growth on record.