The utility has been struggling for two months to bring a radiation leak from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant under control. Tepco has sought a 2 trillion yen ($24.8 billion) loan to tide it through the initial emergency period. It also expects to pay 50 billion yen ($620 million) to nearly 80,000 residents evacuated from around the plant. Overall damages are expected to be much higher.

Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi lost 0.8% to 2,104.18, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.4% to 22,960.63. Benchmarks in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan were also lower, while those in New Zealand and the Philippines rose.

Falling commodities prices were keeping stock investors at bay, said Wong. Oil, for example, was nearly $114 a barrel at the end of April but is now below $100 per barrel. Hong Kong-listed shares of Cnooc ( CEO), China National Offshore Oil Corp., fell 2.2%.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed 1.3% lower to 4,650, with BHP Billiton ( BHP), the world's largest mining company, dropping 1.8%.

Mainland Chinese shares lost ground Monday following the latest increase in the central bank's reserve requirement for banks, which was announced Friday.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8% to 2,849.07 and the Shenzhen Composite Index of China's smaller, second exchange lost 0.2% to 1,198.72.

Banking shares fell. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the country's biggest lender, lost 1.5%.

"Liquidity will continue to be restrained with inflation still over 5%. Since we can expect further tightening measures, how could there be a 'bull market'?" said Liu Kan, an analyst at Guoyuan Securities, based in Shanghai.

On Friday, the Dow lost 100.17 points to close at 12,595.75. The S&P 500 fell 0.8% to 1,337.77, and the Nasdaq lost 1.2% to 2,828.47.

Benchmark crude for June delivery was down $1.70 to $97.86 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract settled at $99.65 per barrel Friday, up 68 cents.

In currencies, the euro strengthened to $1.4133 from $1.4110 in late afternoon trading Friday in New York. A little over a week ago the euro was worth as much as $1.49. The dollar was little changed at 80.85 yen.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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