Both Australia and Hong Kong's markets were lower in the morning of the first trading day of the week, following last Friday's record gains on Wall Street.
The ASX 200 slid by 0.22 percent in the morning, as the heavily weighted financial sector traded down by 0.28 percent. Commonwealth Bank of Australia fell by 0.88 percent, while AMP was down by 0.93 percent.
Rare earths miner Lynas saw its stock plunging further to trade down by 17.5 percent, after the company announced earlier that it was aware of media speculation surrounding a possible review of its operations in Malaysia.
In the Greater China region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell by 1.31 percent in the early hours of trading action, with property developer Country Garden seeing its stock dive by 6.62 percent.
The markets in Japan, South Korea and China are closed for public holidays on Monday.
The U.S.-China trade war remains in focus Monday, with tariffs from both parties due to go into effect at 12.01 p.m. HK/SIN. Washington has announced 10 percent duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports, which prompted Beijing to respond with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that China had called off planned trade talks with the U.S. in the wake of a new round of duties.
"The markets have started the week on the back foot after China pulled out of scheduled talks with the US just hours before the next round of tit for tat tariffs are due to be introduced," said Rakuten Securities Australia in a morning note.
As the tariffs loom, the safe-haven Japanese yen was largely flat against the dollar at 112.59, while the trade-sensitive Australian dollar slipped lower at $0.7273, as of 9:50 a.m. HK/SIN.
The U.S. dollar currency index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 94.238 as of 9:51 a.m. HK/SIN, still off its low from last Friday.