Asian stocks turned mixed on Monday following a record high on the S&P 500 on Friday and a decisive victory for billionaire Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine's presidential election.
A better-than-expected April home sales report saw U.S. stocks gain for a third day on Friday, with the S&P 500 closing above 1,900 points for the first time ever.
Political developments over the weekend are in focus. In Ukraine, exit polls showed Petro Poroshenko winning the presidential election with 55 percent of the vote. Poroshenko has promised to restore order following months of fighting between pro-Russian forces and the government.
Nikkei jumps 1%
Japan's benchmark finished at a seven-week high, extending its rally into a third day. A weaker currency underpinned gains as the yen breached the 102 level against the greenback for the first time in over a week.
Shinsei Bank rose 0.5 percent on news that it has been short-listed for Standard Chartered's Hong Kong consumer finance unit, alongside the Carlyle Group.
"It's a big week ahead for Japan with BOJ minutes today, Kuroda speaking on Wednesday, retail sales on Thursday and CPI (consumer price index) data on Friday. These events combined will give a good assessment on how Japan is tracking post the consumption tax hike," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in a note.
China shares quiet
Shanghai-listed carmakers rallied on news that Beijing will increase subsidies to domestic companies. FAW Xiali and Dongfeng Motor rose over 1 percent each.
Automaker BYD declined 0.7 percent in Hong Kong, paring losses following a 5 percent tumble earlier, after raising around $550 million through a private share placement last Friday.
ASX up 0.3%
Australian shares hit a one-month high of 5,512 points, extending gains into a fifth session
Miners were mixed as iron ore prices continued to sit below $100 a ton, with Credit Suisse warning that prices may drop below $87 a ton this year. Fortescue Metals jumped 1.1 percent, Rio Tinto added 0.7 percent while Mount Gibson eased 1.3 percent.
SAI Global soared 17 percent after private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners said on Monday that it offered to buy the company for $1 billion.
Kospi slips 0.3%
South Korea's benchmark index retreated after hitting a fresh 2014 high on Friday. A 0.4 percent loss in index heavyweight Samsung Electronics was to blame, following reports that the tech giant will unveil a phone watch in the next few months.
Steelmaker Posco dipped 0.5 percent on local reports that it is considering selling its stake in Daewoo International.
Emerging markets mixed
Thailand's benchmark SET Index fell 0.6 percent after coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha said Monday that he received the endorsement of King Bhumibol Adulyadej as head of the ruling military council.
Indian shares rallied 1.6 percent ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as the country's new prime minister, but pared gains and finished the session flat.
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