Asian shares fell on Monday, uninspired after a downbeat day on Wall Street and led by a plunge in Japan’s Nikkei after the dollar notched a fresh 18-month low against the yen.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.4 percent, after Wall Street marked losses following a spate of disappointing earnings.
Adding to the subdued sentiment, a survey released on Sunday showed that activity in China’s manufacturing sector expanded for the second month in a row in April but only marginally, raising doubts about the sustainability of a recent pick-up in the economy.
That weighed on Australian shares , which fell 0.6 percent. Disappointing results from Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) failed to help the mood.
Australia’s central bank board will meet for a policy review on Tuesday and is widely expected to keep its cash rate at a record low of 2.0 percent, though some economists expect a cut.
Markets in Hong Kong and China are closed on Monday.