×

Asia stocks mixed; Japan's Nikkei rises to new 7-year peak

Asia equities were mixed on Tuesday with Japan's benchmark index outperforming the region and leaping to fresh seven-year highs after a long weekend.

Investors digested mixed manufacturing activity growth across the globe. In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management's gauge of manufacturing rose to 59 in October, matching August as the best reading since 2011. But in the euro zone, Markit's final Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) showed activity expanded less than forecast last month.

Sliding crude prices also weighed on sentiment. Oil extended losses after hitting a more than two-year low overnight on the back of dollar strength and after top exporter Saudi Arabia deepened price cuts for U.S. customers. That saw U.S. stocks erase gains to finish mostly lower Monday.

Read MoreBears surround oil as it falls below $80 a barrel

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
---
HSI
---
ASX 200
---
SHANGHAI
---
KOSPI
---
CNBC 100
---

Nikkei 2.7% higher

Japanese shares pared gains in afternoon trade after breaching the 17,000 level earlier in the day. Still, the index extended gains into a fourth session, following Monday's holiday. Investors continued cheering the Bank of Japan's surprise easing measures on Friday as well as the Government Pension Investment Fund's (GPIF) portfolio re-balancing.

Read MoreNikkei's monster gains: Real deal or fool's rally?

The yen's plunge underpinned gains, with the currency weakening to 114 per dollar in early trade, a level not seen since June 2007.

Read MoreJapan's yen is about to get pummeled—even more

Higashi-Nippon Bank surged 15 percent and Bank of Yokohama climbed over 3 percent after announcing that they are considering a merger.

China markets quiet

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite index was flat, but managed to extend gains into a sixth straight session and end at a new 20-month peak.

Read MoreWhy the yuan's fundamentals are weakening

Shippers rose after Beijing said that it would support mergers and private investment in an effort to revitalize the shipping industry. China Shipping Development and Cosco Shipping rose 2 and 3 percent, respectively.

Hong Kong shares were also little changed, with HSBC down 0.2 percent after reporting a 12 percent decline in pretax profit in the third-quarter.

ASX up 0.2%

Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 resumed gains after breaking a two-day winning streak on Monday. Mixed data for the month of September capped gains however, with the country's trade deficit widening to A$2.26 billion and retail sales rising 1.2 percent on month, beating estimates.

The Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates steady at a record low of 2.5 percent, as expected, and said the currency remained above fundamental value. That saw the Australian dollar rise above 87 U.S. cents after trading as low as $0.8643 earlier in the session, close to a four-year low of $0.8641.

Read MoreMelbourne Cup hit by tragedy as race favorite dies

Gold miners were among the best performers, with Evolution Mining surging over 7 percent and Newcrest Mining nearly 2 percent higher despite bullion prices hovering near four-year lows.

Kospi 1% lower

South Korean shares extended losses into a second session, retreating further from a three-week high hit on Friday.

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors fell 3 and 0.2 percent, respectively, after a record settlement of $100 million was imposed on both carmakers for overstating fuel economy on their vehicles.