Asia mixed on Fed taper fears; Philippine shares hit by storm
Asian equities ended Monday mixed with emerging markets leading declines as attention turned to debates over an early reduction in the Federal Reserve's stimulus program.
Data on Friday showed that the U.S. economy created 204,000 new jobs last month. The unexpectedly strong report sent the Dow to a new record high but also fueled speculation that the Fed may reduce its monthly asset purchases sooner rather than later.
"Asia is mixed, with regional markets not quite showing the level of strength we saw in Friday's U.S. trade. The argument for December tapering is certainly gaining momentum now, with just one more jobs reading to go before year end," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG.
(Read more: What's important in Asia this week)
Emerging markets weigh
The Philippines stock index closed down 1.4 percent to its lowest level in over a month as one of the most powerful storms in recorded history killed thousands in the country. The peso was weaker by 0.7 percent at 43.5 per dollar.
(Slideshow: Scenes from Philippines' super storm)
Thailand's SET Index fell to its lowest level in nearly six weeks ahead of a key vote on an amnesty bill aimed at former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.
Meanwhile, Indian shares eased 0.8 percent after the nation's trade deficit rose to $10.56 billion in October after having fallen to a two-and-a-half-year low the previous month.
Nikkei up 1.3%
Japanese equities pared gains as dollar-yen climbed below the key 99-handle but the benchmark index still staged a strong recovery from Friday's one-month low.
Watchmaker Citizen Holdings jumped over 7 percent after raising its forecasts for the year ending in March.
Data out early Monday showed Japan's current account surplus unexpectedly rose an annual 14.3 percent in September.
Shanghai up 0.2%
China's benchmark index erased losses to enter positive territory but sentiment remained cautious stance before the four-day Third Plenum meeting of Communist Party leaders ends Tuesday.
Property developers weighed on the index after a report suggested the government may introduce a nationwide property tax in 2015. China Merchants Property tumbled 4 percent while Poly Real Estate lost over 2 percent.
Railway stocks China South Locomotive & Rolling and China Railway Construction rose 7 and 2.5 percent, respectively, on reports Beijing has opened a second batch of tenders for high-speed trains this year.
(Read more: China Singles Day could dwarf America's Cyber Monday)
Investors also digested a raft of economic data released over the weekend. Annual consumer inflation climbed to an eight-month high of 3.2 percent in October while industrial output rose an annual 10.3 percent in the same period.
Sydney eases 0.2%
Australian equities pared losses after hitting an eleven-day high earlier in the session.
Explosives maker Orica rose 11.6 percent after posting a 49 percent surge in full-year profit.
Kospi eases 0.4%
South Korea's benchmark gave up early gains to fall below the flat line, hovering near Friday's two-month closing low.
Memory chip maker LG Display fell 2 percent after local brokerages lowered the firm's operating profit estimates for the fourth quarter.
Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics gained 1 percent as investors went bargain hunting following the stock's 2 percent decline on Friday.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC