Greater China markets, which had mostly traded higher in the morning, slipped into negative territory in afternoon trade. Earlier on Monday, an official on China's National Development and Reform Commission wrote in an op-ed that black swan (impossible to predict) or grey rhino (probably coming, yet ignored) high-impact events were likely to take place this year, Reuters reported.
On the mainland, the Shanghai composite lost 0.97 percent to close at 3,523.50 and the Shenzhen composite fell 1.56 percent to end at 1,919.80. The blue chip CSI 300 index lost 1.81 percent by the end of the day.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index declined 0.51 percent by 3:52 p.m. HK/SIN.
The fall was likely due to "a bit of intra-day profit taking after such a great start to the year," said Andrew Clarke, director of trading at Mirabaud Asia.
Energy-related names traded mixed, with CNOOC lower by 0.96 percent and Sinopec rising 1.01 percent before the market close. Financials traded mixed, with HSBC lower by 0.58 percent in the afternoon. Property names were also largely in negative territory ahead of the close.
Shares of Hong Kong-listed Wynn Macau fell 5.83 percent by 3:56 p.m. HK/SIN following a Wall Street Journal report detailing sexual misconduct from casino magnate Steve Wynn. Shares of New York-listed Wynn Resorts tumbled more than 10 percent on Friday following the news. Other casino names recorded smaller losses, although Galaxy Entertainment bucked the trend to climb 0.83 percent.
Stateside, stocks were given a lift on Friday on the back of expectation-topping corporate results. As of Friday, 82 percent of companies that have announced fourth-quarter earnings have beaten expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.85 percent, or 223.92 points, to close at 26,616.71. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite both closed more than 1 percent higher on the day.
Markets stateside also digested fourth-quarter GDP numbers released Friday, which showed the U.S. economy expanded by 2.6 percent, short of the 3 percent forecast in a Reuters poll.