Asian stocks were mixed on Monday as investors reacted to last week's dismal U.S. payrolls report, while volumes were thin with Japanese markets shut for a public holiday.
Wall Street shares finished mixed on Friday following news that the U.S. economy created just 74,000 jobs in December, the lowest reading since January 2011 and well below estimates for a 200,000 gain. Attention now turns to U.S. corporate profits as earnings season gathers steam this week, with the likes of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Intel and General Electric due to report.
(Read more: Thai turmoil, India data take spotlight this week)
Emerging markets watched
Indonesia's Jakarta Composite rallied 3.2 percent to a two-month high while the rupiah hit a one-month high as investors cheered President Yudhoyono's last-minute decision to allow the export of copper, iron ore, lead and zinc concentrates to continue, while banning other mineral ore exports.
(Read more: Could the minerals ban worsen Indonesia's deficit?)
Thailand's benchmark SET Index dipped 0.4 percent as anti-government demonstrators in Bangkok vow to shut down the capital and force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from power. Shares later rallied and finished the session higher by 2.24 percent.
Indian shares meanwhile, rose over 1.8 percent ahead of consumer price inflation data, posting their biggest single-day gain this year.
(Read more: Is India's recovery already over?)
Shanghai 0.5% lower
China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index closed at a new five-month low as investors shrugged off regulatory attempts to control the initial public offering (IPO) market while the yuan hit a fresh record high against the dollar.
On Sunday, the securities regulator said it will make random inspections on book building and roadshows to keep companies in line. Fears that a glut of new listings will hurt liquidity led the index to post a 3 percent weekly loss on Friday.
Among the top losers, Gemdale tumbled 4 percent while Poly Real Estate lost over 2 percent on reports that new land supply in cities will focus on housing, which limits the development of commercial property projects.
Sydney dips 0.4%
Home loan commitments for November beat estimates to rise 1 percent, which saw home builders Boral and CSR rally 0.6 and 1.5 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, job advertisements fell in December, pointing to signs of stabilization in the labor market.
Nickel miners rallied on expectations of higher prices after Indonesia's export ban. Western Areas climbed 9 percent while Mincor Resources ended over 4 percent higher.
The nation's biggest phone company Telstra eased 0.2 percent on reports that it is in advanced talks with a U.S. private equity firm over the sale of its Sensis directories business.
(Read more: 2014 a 'litmus test' for Australia: Goldman)
Kospi up 0.6%
South Korea's benchmark Kospi index rebounded after closing at a four-month low last week as investors engaged in bargain hunting while the won hit a one-week high following December's weak U.S. jobs report.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC