Reports over the weekend had indicated that China's economy has slowed. While inflation accelerated slightly to 2.0 percent in August from 1.8 percent in July, industrial production grew just 8.9 percent in August from a year ago, down from 9.2 percent in July.
Monday brought further evidence of China's slowdown. Exports increased just 2.7 percent in August from a year ago while imports fell 2.6 percent.
Data from Japan on Monday also showed weakness. Second quarter GDP growth was revised down to 0.2 percent from an initial 0.3 percent. The current account surplus fell 40.6 percent in July from a year earlier as the trade balance fell into a deficit of 373.6 billion yen.
Service sector sentiment in Japan has also been weak, with the Cabinet Office's economy watchers survey showing that its index of current conditions fell to 43.6 in August from 44.2 in July. The future conditions index fell to 43.6 in August from 44.9 in July.
One positive for Japan, though, was a rise in the consumer confidence index to 40.5 in August from 39.7 in July.