On the last trading day of 2014, Asian shares were mixed amid thin volume, with Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines shuttered for the holiday season.
The only data for the day was the HSBC/Markit China manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for December, which came in at 49.6. The reading was up slightly from the reading of 49.5 in the preliminary reading, but still lower than November's 50.0.
The preliminary reading from HSBC/Markit indicated a contraction in activity in December for the first time in seven months. A reading above 50 indicates growth, while a reading below signals a contraction.
Tracking Wall Street, oil
U.S. stocks fell in low volume trade on Tuesday, on the back of a sharp decline in the utilities sector which led the S&P 500 down 0.5 percent. The blue-chip Dow had its biggest drop in two weeks, settling 0.3 percent lower, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.6 percent.
Benchmark Brent fell 44 cents to $57.46 a barrel on Wednesday as poor Chinese manufacturing data outweighed supply disruptions in Libya. U.S. crude for February delivery was down 34 cents to $53.78. In the previous session, both Brent and U.S. crude hit their lowest levels since May 2009.