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Asia stocks mixed; Shanghai at 3-year high on Stock Connect news

Asian bourses were mixed on Monday, with China markets outperforming the region after a new launch date was announced for an anticipated cross-border trading link.

Mixed Chinese economic data weighed on sentiment. Consumer price inflation remained at a near five-year low last month, easing concerns of deflation risks for the world's second biggest economy. But the wholesale sector stayed entrenched in a deflationary spiral with the producer price index falling by a worse-than-expected 2.2 percent on year.

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Over the weekend, data showed Chinese exports rose 11.6 percent in October, above forecasts but slowing from a 15.3 percent jump in September. Imports increased an annual 4.6 percent, pulling back from a 7 percent rise in September.

An uninspiring handover from Wall Street on Friday also capped gains. U.S. stocks finished mixed last Friday after nonfarm payrolls increased by 214,000 last month, less than the 231,000 anticipated, and the jobless rate at 5.8 percent, a six-year low.

Asia-Pacific Market Indexes Chart

China stocks rally

Sentiment in Chinese markets was buoyed by news that the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect will finally launch on November 17, clearing uncertainty over the start of the program.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite rallied over 1 percent to its highest closing levels since November 2011. Financials were among the biggest gainers; Minsheng Bank climbed over 4 percent andShanghai Pudong Bank finished 3.6 percent higher.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks jumped, with shares of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearings leading gains by 5 percent following the Stock Connect news.

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Nikkei drops 0.6%

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell to a one-week low on the back of a stronger currency; the yen strengthened to 114 per dollar, retreating from a seven-year low of 115.6. Investors also digested local media reports that Prime Minister Abe is considering calling a snap election if he delays a second sales tax hike.

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Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp lost 4 percent after cutting its full-year operating profit.

Airbag maker Takata slumped 17 percent, extending Friday's losses, on reports that the firm suppressed information about airbag defects.

ASX 0.4% lower

Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 briefly hit a new two-month high at 5,550 points in early trade before erasing gains.

Westpac slumped 4 percent as it traded ex-dividend. That sparked sector-wise losses among financials with Australia New Zealand Banking and Macquarie down 1 percent each.

Uranium stocks were in focus after the metal jumped 5 percent over the weekend on news Japan will reopen two nuclear power plants; Paladin ended over 12 percent higher while Deep Yellow surged 20 percent.

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Kospi up 1%

South Korean shares closed at a one-week high following reports that the country reached a free trade agreement with China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

Large-caps rallied; Hyundai Motor and Samsung Electronics surged 3 and 6 percent, respectively.

Nifty dips 0.3%

Indian shares hit a record high of 8,383 points but then reversed gains to crawl below the flat line.