Investing.com - Asian stock markets were lower on Monday, as concerns over the health of China’s property sector weighed on appetite for riskier assets.
Data released over the weekend showed that house prices in China rose 6.7% in April from a year earlier, slowing from a 7.7% increase in the previous month.
During late Asian trade, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng declined 0.45%, China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 1.08%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 1.28% lower, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended down 0.64%.
Shares in mainland China and Hong Kong ended lower as property developers were weaker following the disappointing housing data.
China Overseas Land & Investment (HK:0688) fell 1%, while China Resources Land (HK:0291) dropped 1.6%.
Meanwhile, in Australia, the ASX/200 Index ended at a four-week low as losses in the mining sector weighed on the benchmark index.
Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) slumped 1.7% and 3%, while Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) and Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO) retreated 4.6% and 1.4% respectively.
Financials also contributed to losses, with Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX:CBA) down 1%, while Westpac Banking (ASX:WBC) and National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB) lost 1.5% and 1.6%.
Elsewhere, in Tokyo, the Nikkei ended lower as traders continued to monitor movements in the currency market. USD/JPY fell to a daily low of 101.23, the weakest since March 14.
Automakers Nissan (TOKYO:7201) and Mazda (TOKYO:7261) saw shares fall 1% and 3.3% respectively, while Sony (TOKYO:6758) and Sharp (TOKYO:6753) declined 1.2% and 2.9%.
A stronger yen reduces the value of overseas income at Japanese companies when repatriated, weighing on the outlook for export earnings.
Looking ahead, European stock market futures pointed to a lower open. The Euro Stoxx 50 futures pointed to a loss of 0.3%, France’s CAC 40 declined 0.2%, London’s FTSE 100 indicated a drop of 0.25%, while Germany''s DAX dipped 0.2%.
Germany’s Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann is to speak at an event in Frankfurt; his comment will be closely watched. Later in the day the German central bank is to publish its monthly report.
Across the Atlantic, U.S. equity markets also pointed to a weak open. The Dow pointed to a drop of 0.15%, the S&P 500 inched down 0.15%, while the Nasdaq 100 indicated a decline of 0.2%.
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