Nikkei at 6-year closing high on weak yen; RBA, BOJ in focus
Japanese shares hit a six-year closing high on Tuesday thanks to supportive comments from the Bank of Japan, while the rest of the region traded mixed on fears of a reduction in U.S. stimulus.
U.S. stocks fell on Monday, with the Dow and S&P 500 retreating after an eight-week winning streak. Data showing the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace in over two years last month sparked concerns that the Federal Reserve may pare down its bond-buying program sooner rather than later.
(Read more: BOJ talk spices up Japan markets)
Nikkei rises 0.6%
Comments from Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda saw Japanese markets resume last week's rally and close at its highest level since 2007.
Speaking at a conference in the city of Nagoya late on Monday, Kuroda fueled speculation of further stimulus after saying "we are ready to adjust monetary policy without hesitation if risks materialize."
That saw the yen weaken to a new six-month low at 103.37 per dollar, which lifted large-cap stocks. Among the top winners, SoftBank climbed over 4 percent while Mazda Motor and Panasonic rose 1.7 percent each.
On the economic front, regular salaries slipped for the seventeenth straight month in October, underscoring the difficulties faced by Prime Minister Abe in his battle to increase consumption.
Shanghai climbs 0.7%
Mainland shares reversed losses to climb higher thanks to a rally in infrastructure stocks.
Cement maker Anhui Conch ended 3.4 percent higher, construction machinery firm Sany rose nearly 3 percent and China Railway Construction increased by 2.5 percent.
Property shares were higher after a private survey showed new home prices continued to rise. The China Index Academy said prices rose faster in November than the previous month, which sparked fears of further regulations. China Merchants Property added 2.2 percent.
Sydney 0.4% lower
Australia's S&P ASX 200 closed at a new seven-week low for a second straight session after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left its key interest rate steady at a record low of 2.5 percent. The Australian dollar fell 0.4 percent to $0.9062 against the greenback after the central bank said the currency remained "uncomfortably high."
Investors also digested some mixed economic data. The nation's current account deficit widened in the third-quarter from the second quarter, while October retail sales beat estimates.
"Our forecasts embed a moderate increase in consumer spending into the first half of 2014, and we do not view the most recent improvement as the commencement of a 'v-shaped' recovery," wrote economists from Goldman Sachs Australia in a research note.
Rio Tinto fell 0.5 percent after announcing that capital spending may halve by 2015.
Kospi slips 1%
South Korean shares fell to a one-week closing low thanks to sharp declines automakers. Hyundai Motors skidded 4.2 percent after the automaker posted a 3 percent fall in November sales while affiliate Kia Motors slumped 5.2 percent.
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Emerging markets mixed
Malaysia's benchmark index hit an all-time record high thanks to a sharp rally in state power firm Tenaga Nasional after the government said it would raise electricity tariffs next year.
Indian shares were fell 0.2 percent to around 20,855 points.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC