Most of the Asian markets fell Monday as investor confidence was weighed down by the report that Japan's trade deficit increased in September compared to the same month last year, raising concerns about the faltering global economy.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was down 0.81 percent or 73.14 points to 8929.54. Among the major losers were Amada Co Ltd (4.09 percent), OKUMA Corp (3.60 percent) and Komatsu Ltd (3.25 percent).
The Chinese Shanghai Composite fell 0.62 percent or 13.17 points to 2115.13. Hong Kong's Hang Seng marginally rose 0.08 percent or 16.77 points to 21568.53. Among the major losers were CNOOC Ltd (1.11 percent) and China Overseas Land &Investment Ltd (1.43 percent).
South Korea’s KOSPI Composite Index dropped 1.05 percent or 20.41 points to 1923.43. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd fell 0.15 percent and those of Hyundai Motor Co declined 1.54 percent.
India's BSE Sensex fell 0.14 percent or 26.38 points to 18655.93. Among the major losers were DLF Ltd (0.90 percent), Axis Bank Ltd (0.63 percent) and Sesa Goa (0.50 percent).
Market sentiment turned negative as Japan reported Monday a rise in trade deficit in September compared to the same month last year with a decrease in exports and increase in imports. Japan’s Finance Ministry data showed that the country recorded 558.6 billion yen ($7.0 billion) trade deficit in September, compared to a surplus of 288.8 billion yen last year.
Exports dropped 10.3 percent in September from a year earlier, indicating the soft global demand. There was a slump of 21.9 percent in exports to Europe compared to the previous year. While exports to China dropped 14.1 percent, exports to the U.S. rose 0.9 percent. The continuing debt crisis in Europe and the strength of the yen have hurt the demand for exports, the key driver of Japan's economy.
Meanwhile, imports rose 4.1 percent in September from previous year as the nuclear energy crisis has resulted in the increased need of oil and gas. The government decided to shut down Japan's nuclear reactors following the earthquake and tsunami in 2011 that resulted in the worst nuclear accident in 25 years.