Asia markets tumble as traders get jitters over the Fed's next move

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Asian shares tumbled on Monday after a sharply lower finish for major U.S. indexes on Friday amid concerns central banks, particularly the Fed, will become less accomodative.

Down Under, the ASX 200 closed down 2.24 percent, or 119,582 points, at 5,219.1, weighed heavily by the energy sector, which was down 3 percent, the materials subindex, which shed 3.23 percent, and the financials sector, which was lower by 2.01 percent.

The Japanese benchmark index Nikkei 225 ended lower by 1.73 percent, or 292.84 points, at 16,672.92; South Korea's Kospi finished down 2.28 percent, or 46.39 points, at 1,991.48 from levels above 2,040 just last week.

In company news, Samsung weighed on the Kospi, with its shares dropping 6.98 percent, extending losses from the previous session after the South Korean firm and several airlines urged all customers to stop using the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones amid concerns over fire-prone batteries.

Mainland China markets slumped: The Shanghai composite closed down 1.88 percent, or 57.965 points, at 3,020.937 and the Shenzhen composite shed 2.659 percent, or 57.965 points, to 1,977.057. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index slid 2.85 percent as of 3:15 pm HK/SIN time.

"Traders have been quick to price in worst case scenario as interest rate rise jitters start taking hold and have resulted in some fairly assertive moves in bond, equity, and forex asset classes," said Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA, in a Monday note.

The rising risk sentiment was because "one, the ECB did not extend QE, provoking a sell-off in bond markets, which fed into the medium to long-end U.S. bond curve. Two, traders have convinced themselves the Fed are marching out Leal Brainard, a mega-dove, to bang the Fed's September rate hike drum," he added.

Fed Governor Lael Brainard was scheduled for a surprise speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs later on Monday.

Other recent Fed speakers have also sounded more hawkish notes.

On Friday, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren had said that the U.S. economy has proven to be more resilient to exogenous risks and that "gradual tightening is likely to be appropriate."

Rosengren's speech was cited by traders as a catalyst for the market volatility, said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, in his morning note..

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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On the data front, Japan's July core machinery orders rose a larger-than-expected 4.9 percent from the previous month, which suggested that private capital expenditure might have picked up.

Global benchmark Brent was down 1.9 percent at $47.10 a barrel and U.S. crude futures were lower by 2.07 percent at $44.92, at 2:35 pm HK/SIN.

Spot gold was trading nearly flat at $1,328.60 an ounce by 2;35 pm HK/SIN.

U.S. markets all shed more than 2 percent on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average down 2.13 percent at 18,085.45, the S&P 500 finishing lower by 2.45 percent at 2,127.81 and the Nasdaq composite ending down 2.54 percent at 5,125.91.

"The big mover on Friday was undoubtedly implied volatility," Weston said. "The VIX (U.S. volatility index) had the biggest move since the U.K. referendum, gaining 39.9 percent."

On Monday, China was set to release August new yuan loans, August foreign direct investment and August money supply and India's August consumer price index (CPI) and August industrial production were due.

Markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines were shut for public holidays.

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