In Hong Kong, China Mobile rose 0.3 percent one day before it starts selling the Apple iPhone.
Sydney up 1.2%
Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 index outperformed its peers, posting its biggest one-day rise in three weeks, after weak employment data prompted expectations of further easing from the Reserve Bank of Australia.
(Read more: Will Australia's jobs shocker put the RBA to work?)
The economy lost 22,600 jobs in December, compared to Reuters forecasts for a rise of 7,500, and that saw the Australian dollar tank over 1 percent to hit its lowest level since 2010.
Resource firms were in focus as they released output reports. Rio Tinto rose 2 percent after reporting an 8 percent rise in fourth-quarter iron ore shipments while Newcrest Mining climbed 7 percent following its strong 2013 production performance.
Warrnambool Cheese rallied 1.3 percent on news that Bega Cheese will sell its 18.8 percent stake in the dairy producer to Canadian firm Saputo.
Kospi 0.2% higher
A firm bounce for large-cap exporters helped South Korea's benchmark index close at a new one-week high for a second-straight session.
Hyundai Motor added 0.8 percent while steelmaker Posco rose 0.5 percent after picking president Kwon Oh-joon as its new chief executive.
Thailand rallies 1.9%
Thai shares rallied despite several economists revising down their forecasts for economic growth due to ongoing protests in Bangkok. Investors also shrugged off a report from the Bangkok Post that said political unrest is scaring away prospective foreign investors.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC