The euro and oil prices fell on Monday as uncertainty about Spain's bailout and concerns over slumping demand due to a slowdown in global growth weighed on investor sentiment.
Several Asian markets are closed for holidays on Monday, including China, Hong Kong and South Korea, keeping activity subdued.
Investors will wait on China's official purchasing managers index, expected at 0100 GMT, for clues about the country's economic outlook. Analysts expect a reading for the index, which tracks mainly big firms, of 49.8 in September, up from August's 49.2.
"Another sub 50.0 reading will weigh on risk appetite, particularly given the reluctance of Chinese authorities to announce fresh stimulus measures," said Westpac Institutional Bank in a note.
On Saturday, the HSBC China Manufacturing purchasing managers index, which tracks mainly smaller private sector firms, showed overall factory activity shrank for an 11th consecutive month in September.
While the 47.9 final index level was a tad above a flash 47.8 reading, the data suggested China's economy has almost certainly suffered a seventh straight quarter of slowing growth.
Bank of Japan data showed on Monday that sentiment among big Japanese manufacturers worsened in the third quarter from the previous quarter, hit by a steady deterioration in export demand as Europe's debt crisis simmers and China's economy slows.
Japan's Nikkei stock average <.N225> opened down 0.6 percent, extending Friday's 0.9 percent decline. <.T>
The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> inched down 0.2 percent, with the Australian market <.AXJO> down 0.1 percent.
U.S. crude fell 0.8 percent to $91.49 a barrel and Brent fell 0.5 percent to $111.81.
The euro fell 0.3 percent to $1.2810 to its lowest in nearly three weeks early on Monday. Risk-sensitive currencies also fell, with the Australian dollar down 0.2 percent to $1.0349, while the safe-haven dollar was bid. The dollar index <.DXY>, measured against a basket of key currencies, added 0.2 percent early on Monday.
EYES ON EUROPE
An independent audit on Friday showed Spanish banks will need a total of 59.3 billion euros ($76.3 billion) in extra capital to beef up their strength.
The result was in line with market expectations and was applauded by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but uncertainty over when and whether Spain will seek external aid kept investors nervous.
Credit rating agency Moody's was due to review Spain's debt grade by the end of September. It currently has Spain on one notch above junk with a negative outlook.
Greece, another source of market jitters, resumes talks with its international lenders this week for a bailout needed to avert bankruptcy and a possible euro zone exit. Two German magazines reported on Saturday Athens will receive the aid despite budget shortfalls and slow progress on reforms because the euro zone does not want the country to leave the euro.
"All of this suggests a range trading environment with a mild positive bias," said Sebastien Galy, currency strategist at Societe Generale in a note.
A slew of central bank policy meetings this week will kick off with the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday, followed by the ECB, the Bank of England and the BOJ, potentially deterring investors from making big bets.
Euro zone and U.S. manufacturing surveys are due later on Monday but the key this week is Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls, the first jobs data after the Fed's latest easing.
A report on Friday showed business activity in the U.S. Midwest contracted in September for the first time in three years, underscoring the fragility of the economy.
Currency speculators boosted bets against the U.S. dollar in the latest week to the highest in more than a year, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday.
Over the past week, investors shifted money into bond funds and sharply cut back on new money committed to stock funds amid renewed concerns about the Spanish debt crisis, data from EPFR Global showed on Friday.
(Editing by Richard Pullin)