Australia's benchmark index reversed losses to close in positive territory but investors continued to exercise caution before Saturday's general elections.
"The Australian election looks to be a foregone conclusion; with most major newspapers calling a coalition victory, and should not affect markets materially. It's the data on Monday that is of most importance with the release of China's CPI, PPI and trade balance numbers," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG.
Gold miners weighed on the index after gold traded near the previous day's two-week low. Kingsgate Consolidated tanked 7.5 percent while Newcrest Mining lost 3 percent.
India up 1%
India's benchmark index rose to a new three-week high for a second consecutive session and closed up 1.53 percent on increasing optimism over new central bank governor Raghuram Rajan's new reform measures.
Banks extended their rally with ICICI Bank as the index's top gainer, higher by 5 percent.
(Read more: India and Indonesia: who has it worse?)
Seoul above 1,950
South Korea's benchmark index rose above 1,954 points to hit a new three-month high thanks to sold gains in key blue-chip stocks.
Hyundai Motor rallied 2.6 percent after agreeing on a tentative wage deal with its labor union, which could put an end to a series of strikes that has dogged the auto giant since late August. Kia Motors rallied over 3 percent on the news.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter