The shooting down last week of the Malaysia Airlines plane with 298 people aboard has rattled markets, which worried about how Western governments, already alarmed by Russia's support for rebels in Ukraine's east, would react.
The disaster, in an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists, has sparked international condemnation and increased pressure on Russia to stop meddling in Ukraine. Russian officials have blamed Ukraine's government for creating the situation and atmosphere in which the plane was downed.
"The more pressure that builds on Russia the more volatile European indices will be," said strategist Evan Lucas at IG Markets in a report. "With the strong trade links between the continent and Russia, any disruptions to this through sanctions will cause profit taking on European indices."
China's Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2 percent to 2,054.48 points and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.3 percent at 23,387.14. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 percent to 5,539.90.
Seoul's Kospi fell 0.1 percent to 2,018.50 ahead of this week's release of quarterly economic growth data. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.
Markets in Southeast Asia were mostly higher. Jakarta rose 0.8 percent despite tensions over presidential election results due out Tuesday, with both candidates claiming victory.
Investors were looking ahead to U.S. earnings reports amid hopes American economic growth is recovering. Results from Apple, Microsoft and Coca Cola were due out Tuesday and Caterpillar on Thursday.
In energy markets, U.S. benchmark crude for August delivery was down 1 cent to $103.12 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 6 cents on Friday to close at $103.13.
The euro rose to $1.3537 from $1.3525 late Friday. The dollar fell to 101.31 yen from 101.36 yen.