Asia markets fell Monday with investors cautious on news of an international deal to shore up oil prices and tentative signs of progress in efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

OPEC producers dominated by Saudi Arabia and allies led by Russia thrashed out a compromise deal on Sunday to cut production by nearly 10 million barrels per day from May.

Oil futures surged in early Asian trade, with WTI climbing nearly 8% and Brent up 5% before both benchmarks pared their gains in afternoon trade.

The rally followed months of slumping prices after the Covid-19 outbreak sapped demand as countries around the world put their populations under lockdown.

A Saudi-Russian price war also saw the ramping up of production as both countries bid to hold on to market share and undercut US shale producers.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo called the cuts "historic" in size but analysts said the measures may not go far enough to secure a long-term rebound.

"There remain concerns the agreement could be a day late and a 'barrel short' to prevent a decline in prices in the coming weeks as storage capacity brims," said AxiCorp chief market strategist Stephen Innes.

Investors are waiting for signs that the world is winning the battle against the disease, which has now infected more than 1.8 million people and claimed more than 112,500 lives globally.

The weekend saw glimmers of hope that the crisis may have peaked in some of the hardest-hit countries.

Italy recorded its lowest death toll in three weeks on Easter Sunday and fatalities fell in France, while Spain eased some restrictions.

Washington's top health advisor Anthony Fauci said the United States could be ready to start gradually reopening for business from next month, despite the country leading the world in both confirmed cases and deaths.

"The most critical question for the economic outlook is whether, and how quickly, the coronavirus outbreak will decrease," said Innes

."Politicians need to walk a fine line making sure that shutdown activity doesn't cause permanent and lasting damage to their domestic economies," he Tokyo closed 2.3% lower on the back of a stronger yen and investor disappointment over a lack of asset-buying from the Bank of Japan.

Seoul dropped 1.9%, Shanghai finished down 0.5% and Singapore fell 0.4%, while Hong Kong, Sydney and Wellington were closed for a public holiday.