Caution prevailed in Asian trade on Tuesday as investors grow concerned about the duration of global monetary stimulus ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke's testimony to the U.S Senate.
Amid winners, Japan's Nikkei index hit a fresh closing high at 15,381 after a volatile session and the Shanghai Composite eked out gains for a fifth consecutive session. Elsewhere, the Kospi pared gains after touching a seven-week high and Australia's S&P ASX 200 lost ground on weakness in resources.
"Given the strong rally in global equity markets, a pause for breath is probably not going to cause much of a stir but we remain cautious on the longevity of the rally due to the continuing dichotomy between economic data and risk asset performance," said Mitul Kotecha, head of global markets research Asia at Crédit Agricole in a note.
Central banks resumed their role in the driving seat for markets as the Bank of Japan (BOJ) kicks off a two-day policy review on Tuesday and as investors await Bernanke's comments for clues on when the U.S. central bank could start paring back its bond-buying program.
(Read More: Volatile Bond Market Puts Bank of Japan in a Spin)