Asian stocks fell Monday, with Tokyo plunging 3.72 percent to a six-week low after downbeat Chinese manufacturing data and a sharp drop on Wall Street last week.
Eyes were also turning towards a series of key US economic statistics due later in the week, and a policy meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index, which fell more than five percent last week, closed 512.72 points lower at 13,261.82, continuing volatile trading that has seen a series of sharp drops.
"Japanese shares are still in the middle of adjustment following the recent surge," Kenzaburo Suwa, strategist with Okasan Securities, told AFP.
"The market is trying to find a short-term bottom, which has yet to be seen."
Some analysts have been predicting a sharp correction in the Nikkei, which had surged about 80 percent over the past six months to climb above the 15,000 level before the recent downturn.
Major exporters lost ground as Sony dropped 5.41 percent to 1,938 yen while Sharp's volatile shares plunged 10.29 percent to 427 yen. Toyota was down 3.32 percent at 5,810 yen.
Japan Airlines slipped 0.57 percent to 5,190 yen after the airline reportedly finding a fault with a modified Dreamliner over the weekend. Rival All Nippon Airways was down 3.75 percent to 205 yen.
The Seoul market fell 0.57 percent, or 11.48 points, to close at 1,989.57, and Sydney dropped 0.78 percent, or 38.3 points, to end at 4,888.3.
Shanghai ended flat, edging down 0.06 percent, or 1.34 points, to 2,299.25, and Hong Kong dropped 0.49 percent, or 109.97 points to 22,282.19.
The falls came after conflicting manufacturing data from China, the world's second-largest economy, with HSBC saying Monday that activity fell to an eight-month low in May.
The British banking giant's final purchasing managers' index (PMI) reading for May came in at 49.2, worse than the preliminary 49.6 announced on May 23.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.
The result was in sharp contrast to the Chinese government's PMI result for May, which came in at 50.8, better than April's 50.6, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday.
On currency markets Monday, the dollar was down against the Japanese currency, fetching 100.12 yen against 100.37 yen in New York late Friday.
The euro bought $1.3039 and 130.50 yen against $1.2996 and 130.44 yen.
Oil was down in Asian trade, with New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude for delivery in July, dropping 29 cents to $91.68 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for July delivery shed 29 cents to $100.10.
Gold was at $1,400.90 at 0815 GMT from $1,411.70 late Friday.
In other markets:
-- Manila plunged 3.68 percent, or 258.57 points, to close at 6,763.38.
Ayala Land Inc. fell 7.2 percent to close at 31.30 pesos. One of Ayala Land's luxury apartments was hit by a mysterious explosion Friday, killing three people and raising questions over safety.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. dropped 3.5 percent to close at 2,988 pesos.
-- Taipei dropped 0.65 percent, or 53.78 points, to 8201.02.