Asian shares fall on economic outlook, geopolitical concerns

Asian shares fell on Monday amid weak sentiment over Wall Street and the prospects for the global economy as well as geopolitical concerns in the Ukraine.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.3% to 5358.90 and Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.4% to 13910.16 after Ukraine mobilized troops as pro-Russian activists and militants extended their grip over the east of the country. Markets also responded to Wall Street's decline on Friday, with technology stocks extending a recent selloff.

The Nikkei extended losses after it suffered its worst week in three years, with investors questioning the viability of the country's economic recovery.

Japan's Sharp Corp. (6753.TOK) plunged 8.7% after an Asahi Shimbun newspaper report said the company is considering a ¥200 billion share issue to replenish its depleted capital base.

In China, stocks edged a touch higher ahead of economic news coming later in the week. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite rose less than 0.1%.

In Hong Kong, Citic Sec (6030.HK) lost 2.4% after the company bought a stake in U.S. brokerage BTIG LLC, which it made through its Hong Kong-based brokerage CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. This is the company's latest move to grow outside China by buying a holding in a Western investment firm.

Last week, the Dow 30 fell 0.89%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.95%, while the Nasdaq index fell 1.34%.

Biotech, Internet and other tech companies fell on Friday amid growing concerns that valuations have grown too frothy after a five-year bull market fueled in part by loose monetary policies.

Solid U.S. data did little to boost spirits on Wall Street.

The preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for April came to 82.6, beating expectations for a 81.0 reading.

Separately, official data showed that the U.S. producer price index rose 0.5% in March, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% gain, after a 0.1% fall the previous month.

Core producer price inflation, which is stripped of volatile food, energy and trade items, rose 0.6% in March, beating expectations for a 0.2% rise after a 0.2% decline in February.

After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 1.22%, France's CAC 40fell 1.08%, while Germany's DAX fell 1.47%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 fell 1.21%.