[SEOUL] South Korean shares also fell, led by concerns about China and caution ahead of earnings later this month, which dragged on the sub-indexes for steel and brokerages shares.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 0.6 per cent to 1,906.56 points as of 0238 GMT. Decliners outnumbered advancers by 5-to-3.
Shares of chat app operator Kakao Corp gained 1.2 per cent after the company said it would buy control of South Korea's top music streaming service provider Loen Entertainment Inc for 1.9 trillion won.
Doosan Co Ltd shares rose 0.5 per cent after its subsidiary sold 305 billion won worth of shares in fighter jet manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd.
Foreign investors sold a net 212 billion won (S$252 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, weighing on the index.
March futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.11 points at 109.73.
The South Korean won fell sharply against the dollar on Monday and shares skidded as doubts about China's economy and policymaking ability continued to spook investors.
The won was down 0.8 per cent at 1,208.0 per dollar as of 0238 GMT from the previous onshore close at 1,198.1. It fell to its weakest 5-1/2 yr low in early trade.
Surprisingly strong US jobs data on Friday did little to cheer the mood. US nonfarm payrolls increased by 292,000 last month, the Labour Department said on Friday, far above the 200,000 forecast in a Reuters poll.
"Risk appetite has been battered by slowdown concerns in China, and there is widespread discredit towards Chinese government policies," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign-exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures, referring to recent confusion over Beijing's foreign exchange policy after it allowed a sharp slide in the yuan.