Analysts say the partial U.S.-China trade deal doesn't touch on thorny issues plaguing both sides, and warn talks could break down again.World Economyread more
"The Champagne should probably be kept on ice, at least until the two presidents put pen to paper," said state-owned media China Daily.Traderead more
Economists polled by Reuters had expected Chinese exports denominated in the U.S. dollar to fall by 3% and imports to decline by 5.2% in September, compared to a year ago.China Economyread more
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The U.S. had plans to hike duties on at least $250 billion in Chinese goods to 30% from 25% on Tuesday. Despite the partial trade deal, some banks on Sunday wrote that tariff...Marketsread more
The industry has pulled in $322 billion over the past six months, the fastest pace since the second half of 2008.Marketsread more
A technical recession occurs when there are two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.Asia Economyread more
"Deepfakes" are being used to depict people in fake videos they did not actually appear in, and can potentially affect elections, diplomacy and how markets move, experts say.Technologyread more
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that any attempt to divide China will be crushed.China Politicsread more
Syria's Kurds said Syrian government forces agreed Sunday to help them fend off Turkey's invasion.World Newsread more
U.S. President Donald Trump said that both sides reached a "very substantial phase one deal" that will address intellectual property and financial services concerns and...Asia Marketsread more
Asian equity markets were mostly lower on the final trading day of the month as investors engaged in profit-taking in the absence of a lead from Wall Street.
Activity was subdued with U.S. markets shut on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and as fund managers finalized their books for the month. Wall Street will resume trade on Friday but only for a half-day session.
(Read more: Take cover! Bondmarket 'hell' could be on the way)
Nikkei 0.4% lower
Japan's Nikkei index took a breather after rallying to a six-year high in the previous session as the yen strengthened against major counterparts. Still, the index posted its best November performance since 2005, Reuters reported.
Earlier in the session, the currency hit a five-year low against the euro at 139.70 and a six-month low of 102.60 against the but moved off those levels in afternoon trade. Panasonic and telecom firm KDDI were among the worst-performing stocks, down 2 percent each.
On the economic front, Japan's core consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.9 percent in October from a year earlier to a new five-year high, but that didn't seem to impress analysts.
(Read more: Time to kiss Japan deflation goodbye?)
"Overall, it is a low number. In the grand scheme of things, there's going to be a need for more action from the Bank of Japan to get to its 2 percent inflation target," said Chris Tedder, research analyst at FOREX.com.
China's benchmark index traded in a narrow 12-point range as investors were cautious ahead of Sunday's release of November's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI). A Reuters poll expects the index to ease to 51.1 from October's eighteen-month high of 51.4.
Defense shares gained after Beijing sent advanced fighter jets into its new air defense zone in the East China Sea on Thursday. Hafei Aviation and Aerospace Communication climbed over 3 percent each.
Shipping stocks also outperformed with COSCO Shipping and China Shipping Development 4 percent higher after the Baltic Dry Index surged 9.3 percent in its biggest single day rise in two-and-a-half months.
(Read more: Buyer beware: Bitcoin's fate could rest with China)
Sydney down 0.3%
Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 reversed opening gains to hit a one-week low, on track to post its first monthly drop since June.
GrainCorp, the world's largest listed grains company, slumped 22 percent after the government said it will not allow U.S.-based Archer Daniel Midland's $3 billion takeover bid, saying doing so would have gone against national interests.
Global miner Rio Tinto rallied 2.5 percent after announcing that it aims to spend roughly $2 billion to increase annual iron-ore output.
Forge recovered 9.5 percent after collapsing over 80 percent in the previous session on reports that Australia New Zealand Banking could become the largest shareholder in the embattled firm.
(Read more: Aussie stocks could rally 10% next year)
South Korean shares ended just below the flatline following a choppy session despite positive economic data. Industrial output rose 1.8 percent in October, rebounding from a sharp decline in the previous month.
India rallies 1.2%
Indian shares extended the previous day's strong gains ahead of quarterly growth data, due around 8pm SIN/HK.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC