Disappointing Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) data led major Asian benchmarks lower on Monday, as investors fretted over slowing growth in the world's second largest economy.
Chinese GDP data showed a 7.7 percent growth for January to March, below the expected 8 percent level and down from 7.9 percent in the previous quarter.
The Nikkei 225 closed nearly 1 percent down, while South Korea's Kospi initially sold off then edged back into the green closing 0.2 percent up. In Australia, the S&P ASX 200 also closed around 1 percent down, with investors particularly sensitive to the economic data from China, its largest trading partner.
"These growth and activity numbers seem quite disappointing in light of the very rapid loan growth reported last year... it has proved a sluggish start to the year and this suggests that the Chinese economy is less dynamic and reaching speed limits," said Greg Gibbs, senior forex strategist at RBS.
"With the government moving towards containing loan growth and control property speculation it suggests there are significant downside risks for the Chinese economy," he added.