Asian bourses largely rose amid thin post-Christmas trading, as markets in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Philippines remain shut. With Wall Street closed for the holiday season as well, attention was on a flurry of monthly indicators released by Japan ahead of trade opening.
For the month of November, Japan's industrial output posted a surprise drop, while inflation continued to slow, offering fresh signs that efforts to resuscitate the country's stalled economy aren't proceeding smoothly.
Manufacturing fell 0.6 percent on-month in November, compared with a Reuters poll forecasting a 0.8 percent rise and October's 0.4 percent rise. Meanwhile, core inflation, which includes energy but not fresh food, rose 2.7 percent on-year in November, in line with expectations from a Reuters poll, but marked the fourth straight month of declines.
Once the effects of an April sales tax hike are stripped out, core inflation was 0.7 percent in the month, slowing from October's 0.9 percent and well below the 2 percent inflation target set by the Bank of Japan (BOJ).