TOKYO -- Expectations of

weak first-quarter earnings from key electronics makers, which will start to release numbers this week, sent key Japanese stock indices lower Monday.

The

Nikkei 225

index lost 264.37, or 1.6%, to stand at 16,547.12, while the

Topix

index, which includes all shares listed on the

Tokyo Stock Exchange's

first section, shed 18.62, or 1.2%, to close at 1504.81. The the Nikkei

over-the-counter

index lost 34.55, or 2.0%, finishing at 1671.49.

With the

Group of Eight

summit yielding little over the weekend, the market took its cue from Friday's performance of the

Nasdaq

. Shares of

Softbank

, which invests in about 200 U.S. firms, slipped 650 yen, or 5.5%, to 11,190 ($102.88).

Sentiment was also hurt when traders got hold of talk that

Nomura Asset Management's

newest mutual fund reportedly had not collected as much money as it previously expected, traders noted. The

Strategic Value Open fund

has a ceiling of 200 billion yen, but only about half of the total had been garnered, some traders noted.

With first-quarter earnings jitters cramping the style of many investors, large-cap tech shares were shed in earnest, including

Sony

(SNE) - Get Report

, down 190, or 1.8%, to 10,490,

Fujitsu

, down 100, or 3.1%, to 3100, and

NEC

(NIPNY)

down 45, or 1.5%, to 2995. Many investors are waiting for Sony's results to be released Wednesday before stepping into the market.

The greenback eased slightly against the yen in lethargic trading and recently fetched 108.77.

Weak telecom shares punched Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index down 261.17, or 1.5%, to 17,659.69. Index heavyweight

China Mobile

(CHL) - Get Report

led the way by sliding HK$3.00, or 4.2%, to 68.75 ($8.82), while rival

China Unicom

(SHU)

shed 0.30, or 1.5%, to 20.00.

Hutchison Whampoa

slid 1.50, or 1.2%, to 122.00 despite news that

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

had

secured its takeover of U.S.

VoiceStream Wireless

(VSTR)

. Hutchison owns a 23% stake in VoiceStream.

Korean stocks were the biggest losers in Asia, with the key

Kospi

index sliding 45.17, or 5.8%, to 737.89. A tumble in semiconductor shares triggered the downfall, with

Samsung Electronics

falling KW27,000, or 7.8%, to 319,000 ($286.72). However, as daytraders, who sometimes drum up as much as 40% of the market's total trades, joined in the selling spree, a key psychological level of 770 was broken and depressed sentiment even more. Securities firms were hit the hardest, with

Hyundai Securities

down 1700, or 15.0%, to 9650 and

Daewoo Securities

down 1200, or 12.6%, to 8300.