The Nikkei 225 in Japan lost 1.29% at the start of the session while the Topix lost 0.56%. In South Korea, the Kospi fell 0.12%.
In Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 was down 0.41%.
Overall, the MSCI Asia excluding Japan index fell 0.18%.
The move came as investors awaited the release of the Chinese prime lending rate, expected around 9:30 a.m. HK / SIN, with a drop expected by traders and analysts polled by Reuters.
According to data compiled by John Hopkins University, developments in coronaviruses likely continued to be monitored, with more than 2.3 million people infected worldwide and at least 164,000 lives. Worldwide stocks increased at the end of last week after a report that patients with severe viral symptoms are recovering quickly after using Remdesivir, a drug from Gilead Sciences.
US crude prices drop
Oil prices fell in the morning from Asian trading hours. US crude futures fell 5.91% to $ 17.19 a barrel. The Brent crude international futures contract also slipped 0.25% to $ 28.01 a barrel.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of peers, was 99.807 after crossing the 100 mark last week.
The Japanese yen traded at 107.68 for the dollar after reaching levels below 107.4 the previous trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands to $ 0.6341 following turbulent trading last week, which saw it rise to levels above $ 0.64 and fall below $ 0.63.
- China: People’s Bank of China Releases New Prime Rates at 9:30 AM HK / SIN