Mainland indexes volatile
China's share markets reopened to volatile trade after a four-day extended weekend, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite index closing down 2.55 percent at 3,079.7 after flip-flopping all day long between gains and losses.
Earlier in the session, the Shanghai bourse rose as much as 1.8 percent, helped by remarks over the weekend that aimed at calming the market, but the reprieve proved to be short-lived.
Among China's other indexes, the CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen closed down 3.4 percent, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite trimmed gains to 0.2 percent.
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Over the weekend, People's Bank of China (PBoC) Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said at the G-20 meeting in Turkey that China's stock market has almost completed its correction after a bubble formed in the first half of the year.
Lorraine Tan, director of equity research in Asia at Morningstar, told CNBC that the remarks hinted at the possibility of further stimulus measures to come in China.
"Most governments around the world can't predict stock markets so I don't expect to really know that. What I will find confidence is expectation that there will be more stimulus coming through. The slowdown in China is real and it is starting to affect the consumption sector so once that happens, we expect to see more policy moves going forward," said Tan, who is expecting stimulus in the form of interest rate and income tax cuts.
Meanwhile, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a post on its Weibo account late Sunday that stock markets were more stable, adding that risks associated with high levels of leverage have eased following a period of high volatility.
In other news, China's National Bureau of Statistics on Monday revised down 2014 gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 7.3 percent from a previously reported 7.4 percent.
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Nikkei gains 0.4%
Japan's Nikkei 225 index inched back up into positive territory, finishing well off its intra-day low of 17,478.7 after a volatile day.
"Japan is taking the lead from China [amid] concerns that share price declines could spill over to China's economy. With Japan being a cyclical market by nature, it has become sensitive to what's happening in China," Amir Anvarzadeh, director of Japan equity sales at BGC Securities (Singapore), told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia."
Toshiba charged up 1.8 percent despite delivering a net loss of 37.8 billion yen for the last fiscal year in the wake of an accounting probe. Earlier at the open, shares of the troubled conglomerate fell more than 2 percent to hit its lowest level since January 2013.
Nippon Kayaku toped the leaderboard with a rise of 12.1 percent, lifted by a Nikkei business daily report that the drug maker could seek government approval for new cancer treatment by next Spring.
Office equipment maker Ricoh climbed 9.3 percent after Singapore-based Effissimo Capital Management became the company's top shareholder following the purchase of a 8.6 percent stake.
However, a near 2 percent slump in index heavyweight SoftBank weighed down the bourse. Brokerage house Nomura Holdings eased 0.6 percent, while Daiwa Securities closed down 1.1 percent.