Japanese industrial output slipped in July with the government reporting a decline of 0.6%.
The figure was below the 1.1% increase registered in June and expectations for a further expansion of 0.1%.
Looking further ahead, production is expected to rebound by 2.8% in August, up from the 2.7% increase seen previously, before easing by 1.7% in September.
The disappointing reading followed a similarly downbeat performance from South Korea’s industrial sector earlier in the session.
In July output slid by 3.3% compared to a year earlier, well below expectations for a drop of 1.0%.
The reading marked the largest contraction recorded since February 2015.