Asian stocks closed mostly lower, as shares of Samsung Group were in focus after the arrest of its chief. Jay Y. Lee was arrested on Friday, over his alleged role in the corruption scandal that prompted South Korea's parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye.

South Korea's Kospi finished nearly flat at 2,080.58. Samsung Electronics dropped 0.4 percent at 1,893,000 Korean won. Shares of Samsung SDI rose 0.8 percent, Samsung Electro-Mechanics added 0.8 percent, Samsung C&T shed two percent while Samsung Engineering was down 1.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 retreated 0.58 percent to 19,234.62 and the Topix slid 0.42 percent to 1,544.54. Sharp bucked the trend and finished 2.80 percent higher at 331 yen, after the Japanese electronics firm revised its earnings estimates.

Australia's ASX 200 was down 0.18 percent at 5,805, as major resource producers declined more than one percent each. China's Shanghai composite fell 0.86 percent to 3,201.96 while the Shenzhen composite dropped 0.66 percent to 1,945.10. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading 0.5 percent lower.

Singapore's Department of Statistics said the country's producer price inflation climbed to 7.6 percent in April, up from the previous month's 3.9 percent.

Oil and non-oil prices rose 35.9 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

But producer prices lost 0.6 percent month-on-month in April after March's 0.7 percent decline.

From 9.6 percent in March, figures showed that import price inflation increased to 9.4 percent in April.

Month-on-month, import prices rose 0.8 percent after falling 2.1 percent in March.

Tags: Asia

Nasdaq and Astana International Financial Centre unveiled a technology agreement for new Kazakhstan's emerging stock exchange.

The New York-based bourse has been commissioned to power the AIFC Exchange, to be introduced in the latter part of this year. It will originally trade equities and fixed income with other asset types in the long run.

Under the accord, the American exchange's matching equipment will be used and undergo various rigid testing and acceptance phases before its formal deployment. Considered the most widely utilized matching engine worldwide, the tool combines distinct performance with wide functionality.

A Nasdaq official said the new Kazakh bourse will be operated using ground-breaking innovation, enabling regulated and unified operations.

European stocks started the week slightly in the red, as market holidays in the U.S. and the U.K. reduced trading volumes while oil prices declined.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.1 percent. The index dropped on Thursday and Friday, with oil and gas shares leading losses following OPEC's decision to extend its production deal but not deepen the reductions.

All main sectors on the European benchmarks were trading in negative territory. Regional banks were among the biggest decliners, however, investors continued to lock in gains after the sector's previous run.

Intesa Sanpaolo shares dropped 1.6 percent after a report from the Financial Times stated that the Italian lender is set to close branches and cut costs in a strategy shift. The Italian lender is said to be near the completion of a plan to raise its insurance and asset management businesses.

Italy's Banco BPM and Unicredit were both almost two percent lower, which pulled down the Stoxx 600 banks sector.

Spanish-listed shares of International Airlines Group, the parent firm of British Airways, dropped 2.5 percent. BA flights have encountered huge disruptions during the weekend with more than 1,000 flights canceled following a computer system failure.

Bucking the trend was France's Biocorp which jumped six percent after the firm signed an industrialized contract with Virbac, the 7th veterinary company worldwide.

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May 29 at 11:26 UTC

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