Asian stocks fell slightly on Monday, expanding last week's steep losses and gold hit another new high as investors continue to worry about the economic outlook in the United States and European debt woes.
Spot gold prices hit a record high at $1,878.39 per ounce as investors moved more money into the safe haven.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 percent as the prospects for currency market intervention offset growing worries of another U.S. recession.
The yen fell slightly against the dollar , down 0.1 percent at 76.70, below its record high at around 75.95 on Friday.
Stocks elsewhere in the region lost 0.3 percent at 0100 GMT, their third day of declines.
S&P 500 futures ESc1 fell 0.4 percent in Asia, pointing to more losses for Western markets later in the day.
The market may rather see 'mild' selling than 'sharp' selling, said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.
Markets will later watch data on bond buying by the European Central Bank, while later in the week investors will closely follow the economic outlook given by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday morning.
Brent oil LCOc1 fell 1.63 percent to $106.85, weighed down by a firmer U.S. dollar and the as the months-long conflict in oil-producing Libya appeared to enter its decisive phase.
The dollar index , which tracks the strength of the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.10 percent.
(Additional reporting by Ayai Tomisawa in Tokyo; Editing by Richard Borsuk)