Asian markets mostly lower on 29 July
A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks past a stock quotation board displaying various stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, on 29 July, 2013.

Most Asian markets opened lower on Monday, while Japanese stocks dropped to four-week lows, after being dragged down by a stronger yen and concerns surrounding China's economic growth trajectory.

The Japanese Nikkei was trading 3.26% lower or 460.68 points to 13,669.30.

Australia's S&P/ASX index was trading 0.05% lower or 2.30 points to 5,039.70.

The Shanghai Composite index was trading 1.48% lower or 29.77 points to 1,981.08.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading 0.63% lower or 138.81 points to 21,830.14.

South Korea's Kospi was trading 0.54% lower or 10.28 points to 1,900.53 points.

In Japan, government data released early Monday morning showed that retail sales rose 1.6% in June from a year ago.

Earlier, government data from China showed that Chinese industrial profits climbed 6.3% in June from a year ago. This compared with a 15.5% rise in profits in May.

Market participants will be tracking the US Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meet, beginning 30 July. The Fed could provide more clarity on the future pace of US monetary stimulus at the end of the two-day meet.

Wall Street Mixed

On Wall Street, indices logged modest gains on 26 July. The Dow finished 3.22 points higher at 15,558.83. The S&P 500 closed 1.40 points higher at 1,691.65, while the Nasdaq ended 7.98 points higher at 3,613.16.

For the week ended 27 July, the Dow finished 0.10% higher, while the Nasdaq ended 0.71% higher. The S&P 500 closed 0.03% lower.

Company Stock Movements

In Tokyo, Mitsubishi Motors tanked 10.5%. Rivals Suzuki Motor and Nissan Motor shed 4% each.

Shinshei Bank lost over 7%.

JFE Holdings, Japan's second largest steelmaker, dropped 5.8%, after the company put out a profit forecast that missed expectations

Consumer electronics major Toshiba and rival Sharp shed 5%%. Japan Tobacco dropped 4.2%.

Renesas Electronics, which makes flash microcontrollers, fell 6.5% on News that the company has decided to shut down a chip foundry in Japan.

Industrial robots maker Fanuc shot up 3.8% after it reported higher-than-forecast fiscal first-quarter results.

Mobile operator KDDI inched up 0.8%, on news that it is expected to post a 70% jump in group operating profit for the April to June quarter, partly owing to higher subscriptions for plans related to Apple's iPhone

Nomura Holdings, Japan's largest brokerage firm, was down 3.9% in the downbeat market, even as it reported a 15% increase in revenue in the April to June quarter.

In Hong Kong, Bank of Communications or BoCom lost1.6% while China Overseas Land and Investment shed 0.7%.

In Shanghai, shares of Merchants Bank, Pudong Development Bank and Minsheng Banking were all down 2.5% each. The National Audit Office said it conduct an audit of all government debt.

BoCom lost1.3%. Realty major Gemdale dropped 2%.

Shenzhen Topray Solar shot up 10% while Shanghai Chaori Solar add 5% on news that the European Union (EU) and China have agreed to resolve a dispute over the alleged dumping of solar panels by Chinese companies in Europe.

In Sydney, Rio Tinto inched up 0.2% after the miner said it plans to sell its 80% stake in a gold and copper mine in Australia to China Molybdenum, the leading molybdenum producer in mainland China.

Gold miner Evolution Mining fell 4.2% after it said it expects to write down the value of its assets by between A$350m dollars ($324m) and A$400m in its financial year through June.

Iron ore miner Atlas Iron lost 4% while rival Mount Gibson shed 2%.

In Seoul, index heavyweight Samsung Electronics shed 1.2%.

Lotte Chemical tanked 3% percent even after it reported a rise in second-quarter profit, following last year's net loss.