Asia stocks mixed; Hong Kong, Japan underperform on protests, data

Asian equities were mixed on Tuesday amid caution over developments in Hong Kong and as investors focused on data in China and Japan.

Protesters remained on Hong Kong's streets on Tuesday, spreading to areas of Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok in Kowloon, but police have been absent, according to local media.

Read MoreLive Blog: Hong Kong protesters not backing down

"The region's second largest index will again be the focal point for Asian markets, as Hong Kong sees its largest civil unrest since the 60s. With Chinese National Day (a public holiday) tomorrow, the likelihood of the crowds increasing is mounting," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG.

On the economic front, Japan's August data deluge was mixed with household spending and industrial output coming in worse than expected, while retail sales beat forecasts. Meanwhile, HSBC's China final manufacturing report for September came in at 50.2, unchanged from August.

Analysts say profit-taking also weighed on Tuesday's trading session as the third-quarter wraps up.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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Hang Seng down 1%

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped to a new three month low, extending losses into a fourth session, while the Hong Kong dollar hovered near Monday's two-year low against the greenback.

Real-estate developers were the biggest losers on the index; Henderson Land sank over 3 percent while Sun Hung Kai Properties and Cheung Kong lost 2 percent each.

Read MoreDon't sell China on Hong Kong protests: Siegel

Shanghai shares inched up 0.2 percent to close at a new 19-month peak, gaining for a sixth straight day.

Nikkei 0.8% lower

Japan's benchmark Nikkei closed at a one-week low as a stronger currency hurt exporters. The yen strengthened to 109.4 per dollar after approaching a six-year low on Monday.

Read MoreWhy a strong dollar is scarier than taper tantrum

Japan Airlines eased 0.3 percent on reports that the personal information of more than 190,000 frequent flier customers may have been stolen in a cyber-attack.

Sumitomo slumped 12 percent after cutting its annual profit forecast by 96 percent.

ASX 0.5% higher

Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 rebounded from Monday's seven-month closing low, ending at session highs thanks to strong gains in banks.

Australia New Zealand Banking, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank jumped more than 1 percent each.

Read MoreAustralia frets as property blows hot at home, cold in China

Kospi slips 0.3%

South Korean shares dropped to a two-month low, weighed down by data showing August industrial output posting its worst monthly fall since 2008. Samsung Electronics was among the the biggest losers, down 1 percent.

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Nifty 0.7% higher

Indian shares rallied after the Reserve Bank of India left its key repo rate unchanged at 8 percent, as expected.