Asian stocks retreated into negative territory Monday, with most markets down more than 1 percent on fears that slowing U.S. consumer demand will hurt Asia's export-oriented economies. Japan shed 2.3 percent while South Korea slipped 1.5 percent.
U.S. stocks last week chalked up their biggest decline in three months as oil prices rocketed to record highs, stoking fears about inflation and weaker consumer spending as well as heightening concerns about second-quarter earnings. Crude oil inched nearer to $133 a barrel in the Asian session Monday.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 Average shed 2.3 percent, the biggest fall in six weeks, led lower by exporters such as Canon on a firmer yen and losses on Wall Street. Auto stocks also suffered losses with Toyota Motor and Nissan Motors leading the declines.