Asia Markets

Asian shares mixed; Samsung skids 2% after earnings

Asian shares were mixed on Tuesday while liquidity was thin with Japanese markets shut for a public holiday.

Caution set in as the U.S. and Europe slapped more sanctions on Russia on Monday, including visa bans on those close to President Vladimir Putin. 17 companies and 7 individuals in all were U.S. targets in this round of sanctions, which come amid mounting tension over eastern Ukraine. Armed pro-Russian rebels broke up a rally in support of Kiev in the regional capital of Donetsk, injuring several people.

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Investors will also be looking ahead to a policy meeting by the Federal Open Market Committee, which starts later on Tuesday. The two-day review culminates with a press conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen and market watchers will be looking for any signs of when interest rates could rise ahead of Friday's non-farms payroll (NFP) report for April.

Shanghai up 0.8%

Mainland shares rebounded thanks to upbeat earnings after ending at a more than one-month low in the previous session.

Among the top gainers, Ping An Insurance rose 2.6 percent after posting a 46 percent rise in first-quarter profit while Datong Coal jumped by the maximum trading limit of 10 percent after reporting $166 million in quarterly profits.

Property developers pared losses on news that the city of Nanning will loosen regulations on house buying. Vanke fell 0.4 percent after posting a 5 percent annual decline in profit. Earlier in the session, the stock tanked as much as 2 percent.

Shanghai Shimao lost 1.4 percent despite net profit rising 8.4 percent and Gemdale fell 10 percent after quarterly profit slumped 76 percent.

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Worried about Samsung's handset sales: Pro

Kospi slips 0.3%

South Korean shares hit a one-month low for a second straight session, despite upbeat March current account surplus data.

Meanwhile, the briefly touched its strongest level in nearly six years at 1,030.1 per dollar.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics lost 2 percent after reporting a 3.3 percent fall in first-quarter operating profit, in line with its guidance.

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LG Electronics jumped 4 percent after first-quarter operating profit rose to 504 billion won, higher than estimates for 279 billion won.

ASX down 0.9%

Australian shares snapped their seven-session winning streak after hitting a fresh six-year high of 5,554 points earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar fell to a more than three-week low against the greenback.

Declines in mining heavyweights weighed on the benchmark index. Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals lost over 2 percent each as iron ore prices hit a seven-week low.

Wesfarmers lost 2 percent on the back of disappointing third-quarter earnings results.

Oil and gas producer Horizon Oil slumped 4 percent after agreeing to merge with Roc Oil. Their new company is estimated to be worth around $741 million.

India sheds 0.7%

Indian shares extended losses into a second session, retreating further from Friday's record high.