In his defense, Powell has said the Fed is an independent bank "insulated from short-term political pressures".
BIG BANK SHAKEUP: Germany's struggling Deutsche Bank tumbled 6% after it disclosed plans to cut 18,000 jobs by 2022 as it shrinks its investment banking division.
Japan's Topix index slid 0.3%.
"The testimony this week will be crucial around how they are seeing the evolution of the US economy", Anne Anderson, head of fixed income at UBS Asset Management in Sydney, told Bloomberg TV. The previous range was "neutral". Government has not revealed the official reason for the sacking.
Since the start of the year, global equities have generally been bolstered by expectations that central banks will keep interesting rates at or near record lows to boost economic growth. Data showed that the United States economy added 224'000 nonfarm jobs in June, well above the 160'000 expected by analysts.
Lee Iacocca, father of Ford Mustang, dies
His first wife, Mary , died of diabetes in 1983 - something that prompted him to open a family foundation to fight the condition. But by the late 1980s Chrysler took a downturn, and thousands of employees were laid off in order to save the company.
"Foreign-exchange markets started the week on a quiet note, with currencies trading in tight ranges, as traders shifted their focus from Friday's strong USA payrolls data to testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell", said Ellis Phifer, senior market strategist at Raymond James.
The Fed's benchmark interest rate now stands in a range of 2.25% to 2.5% and the central bank has not cut rates since the Great Recession in 2008.
Investors will be listening closely for any hints on the central bank's interest rate policy on Wednesday and Thursday, when Powell delivers the Fed's semi-annual monetary report to Congress.
Earlier in Asia, traders had their first chance to respond to Friday's U.S.jobs data and they fell sharply.
At 12:48 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 135.93 points, or 0.50%, at 26,786.19, the S&P 500 was down 17.66 points, or 0.59%, at 2,972.75 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 75.50 points, or 0.93%, at 8,086.29.
Deutsche Bank to axe 18,000 jobs
The cuts were foreshadowed on Friday, when the head of Deutsche's investment bank Garth Ritchie agreed to step down. Some employees at the bank's offices in Hong Kong have already started packing their belongings, the person said.
"Whether the negotiators can find a solution to the hard structural issues that remain between the two sides is another matter, and Kudlow cautioned there was "no timeline" to reach an agreement", National Australia Bank strategist Rodrigo Catril said.
Elsewhere, the Turkish lira fell steeply after President Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the central bank governor, sparking worries about the bank's independence.
The dollar index stood at 97.233, down marginally on the day but near the 3-week high of 97.443 hit on Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 1.7% and Seoul's Kospi declined 2% to 2,068.24.
Elsewhere, oil ticked higher as geopolitical risks remained high after Iran threatened to breach the levels of uranium enrichment under the 2015 nuclear accord.
Brent crude, used to cost worldwide monies, drop 5 cent to $64.28. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was trading 0.4 percent down at $57.47 a barrel, after falling as low as $56.03 on Wednesday, its lowest since the June 20.
Stevie Wonder to Receive Kidney Transplant in September
He has kept an active schedule, including performing recently at a Los Angeles memorial service for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle. He did seem less ebullient than in the past and made his health announcement in a somber tone with a severe look on his face.
After hitting a six-month low to the dollar on Friday as a result of poor economic data and a rise in expectations that the Bank of England will cut interest rates, the British pound GBP= edged down 0.12% to $1.2508.