Markets in Asia closed lower on Monday as Chinese leaders headed into an annual parliament meeting while in Italy, exit poll projections indicated that no party is emerging with a clear majority in Sunday's election.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.66 percent to close at 21,042.09, marking its fourth straight session of losses. Monday's declines also saw the Nikkei touch its lowest levels since October. The Topix index ended down 0.79 percent. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi closed lower by 1.13 percent.
Chinese mainland markets reversed early losses to close slightly higher, with the Shanghai composite finishing up 0.09 percent. The Shenzhen composite wavered between gains and losses to close higher by 0.47 percent. Meanwhile, the ChiNext start-up board climbed 1.2 percent to outperform the benchmark.
China's National People's Congress meeting kicked off on Monday morning, with Premier Li Keqiang announcing a 2018 growth target of around 6.5 percent. For the next two weeks, the large rubber-stamp parliament will move on to pass major bills, approve the budget and endorse personnel nominations.