**Asian Markets Fall**
Asian stock markets fell Monday, as investors continued selling on concerns about weak Chinese manufacturing data and the direction of the U.S. economy.
European stocks were mixed in afternoon trading and U.S. indexes edged higher as the week's trading opened in New York. U.S. markets fell sharply on Friday.
Japanese stocks led the losses across Asia on Monday, as the benchmark Nikkei 225 index and the Topix index both lost more than three percent. Indexes in South Korea and Australia also suffered significant losses.
The sell-off in Asia accelerated after an HSBC Chinese manufacturing index fell to 49.2 in May, the lowest mark in at least seven months.
Investors are also concerned over speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve may begin scaling back its massive bond buying program aimed at stimulating the U.S. economy, after a series of positive economic reports.
**US Welcomes Selection of New Palestinian PM**
The United States has welcomed the selection of a new Palestinian prime minister, saying the choice of academic Rami Hamdallah comes at a "moment of challenge" and a "moment of opportunity."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked Hamdallah to form a new Palestinian Cabinet in West Bank, replacing Salam Fayyad, who announced his resignation in April and formally leaves this month.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Hamdallah in a statement Sunday, saying the United States can work with the new government on a path to a negotiated two-state settlement with Israel.
The Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the rival Gaza Strip, has rejected the appointment. A spokesman calls it "illegal" and says it will not help bring Palestinian unity.