Asian markets broadly fell Monday despite an uptick on Wall Street, while traders keep an eye on the release of key indicators out of China and Japan later in the week.
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index lost 0.64 percent, or 90.15 points, to finish at 14,006.44, while the Topix index of all first-section shares slipped 0.78 percent, or 9.00 points, to 1,150.07.
Just before the market opened, Japanese government data showed machinery orders, a leading indicator of corporate capital spending, jumped 19.1 percent on-month in March.
The reading far exceeded a median prediction of 6.2 percent growth in a survey by the leading Nikkei business daily.
"But selling pressure grew in the afternoon, which swept away early gains and sent the Nikkei temporarily below the 14,000 mark," said Shunichi Umeda, a trader at Tokai Tokyo Securities.
"As the market's prospects remain uncertain, some players trimmed their long positions by cashing in on earlier gains."
Exporters lost ground on the stronger Japanese currency, with Toyota closing down 1.14 percent at 5,459 yen, while Sony slipped 1.15 percent to 1,627 yen.
Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index closed down 8.41 points at 22,704.5, while in China the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.05 percent, or 21.32 points, to 2,005.18.
The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, fell 0.51 percent, or 5.17 points, to 1,014.19.
Thursday will see HSBC release its preliminary results on May manufacturing activity in China, with analysts hoping for signs of a pick-up in the world's number two economy.
The Sydney market eased 1.28 percent, or 70 points, to 5409.0 while Seoul closed flat, edging up 1.7 points to 2,015.14.
On foreign exchange markets Monday, the dollar was at 101.39 yen compared with 101.54 yen.
The euro bought $1.3715 and 139.09 yen against $1.3695 and 139.08 yen.
Oil prices edged higher following the outbreak of violence in crude producer Libya after a rogue general attempted a coup, raising concerns about potential supply disruptions, analysts said.
The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in June, rose 56 cents to $102.58 in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude for July rose 40 cents to $110.15.
Gold fetched $1,296.90 an ounce at 0800 GMT compared with $1,293.51 late Thursday.
In other markets:
-- Taipei rose 0.13 percent, or 11.45 points, to 8,899.90.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co closed 0.82 percent lower at Tw$121.0 while Hon Hai Precision rose 1.13 percent to Tw$89.8.
-- Wellington slipped 0.35 percent, or 18.41 points, to 5,167.78.
Fletcher Building shed 0.3 percent to NZ$9.10 and Trade Me slipped 1.9 percent to NZ$3.65.
-- Manila added 0.78 percent, or 53.19 points, 6,870.90.
BDO Unibank rose 0.11 percent to 88.65 pesos while Metropolitan Bank and Trust gained 1.96 percent to 88.50 pesos.