Shanghai gains 0.1%
China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index reversed earlier losses to close above the flatline. The index was shut on Thursday and Friday for public holidays.
Risk appetite was dampened on fears that a deluge of new market listings will tighten liquidity. Over the weekend, Xinhua reported that the country's securities regulator unveiled prospectuses of 25 applicants for initial public offerings, bringing the total number to 211 since April 19.
Property developers were hit after the vice-chairman of China Vanke, China's largest listed developer, compared the country's current situation to that of Japan and Hong Kong before their property bubbles burst.
Poly Real Estate and China Merchants Property lost over 3 percent each while Gemdale fell 2.8 percent.
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Hong Kong stocks suffered however, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index down over 1 percent.
Australian shares managed to end in positive territory following a choppy session. On Friday, the benchmark S&P ASX 200 index ended the week more than 1 percent lower, its first weekly loss in six weeks.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar also declined after breaching 93 U.S. cents earlier in the session.
Westpac Bank lost 1.4 percent after reporting an 8 percent annual rise in first-half cash earnings and raising its dividend to 90 cents per share early on Monday.
Iron ore developer Aquila Resources soared 37 percent after receiving a $1.06 billion joint takeover bid from Baosteel and Aurizon Holdings.
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Emerging markets higher
Indonesia's Jakarta Composite and the rupiah were little changed after first-quarter gross domestic product missed expectations. Meanwhile, Indian shares closed the day higher by 0.2 percent, snapping a five-day losing streak.