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Asian shares mixed on global growth, oil concerns

Asian stocks were mixed amid choppy trade on the first trading day of the week, as a raft of sluggish manufacturing surveys released across Europe and Asia over the past week curbed risk appetites.

Meanwhile, continued turmoil in the oil markets did little to help markets in Asia. U.S. crude futures extended declines to a third day on Monday, down 39 cents at $52.30 a barrel. London Brent crude for February delivery was down 52 cents at $55.90 a barrel, after settling down 91 cents.

Last Friday, U.S. stocks ended near unchanged in the first trading session of 2015, after economic reports showed manufacturing slowing but still in expansion mode at the end of 2014. Scaling back from a 128-point surge, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much as 91 points, before closing up 0.1 percent. The S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq shed 0.2 percent.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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Nikkei eases 0.2%

Japan's key Nikkei 225 index closed down modestly late Monday, after bouncing into positive territory at the start of the afternoon session, following a pause in the yen's weakening. Markets in Japan, which were shut since last Wednesday for the holiday season, touched a two-and-a-half-week low of 17,219 earlier in the session.

Exporters turned broadly lower as the currency gained against the greenback. Electronics like Nikon and Canon lost 2.2 and 1.4 percent each while carmakers Toyota Motor and Suzuki Motor fell 0.7 and 1.5 percent, respectively.

A rebound in index heavyweights helped to cap losses; Fast Retailing, owner of clothes brand Uniqlo, reversed losses to tick up 0.1 percent while mobile carrier Softbank trimmed losses to 0.7 percent by the end of Monday.

Read MoreLuxury isn't created equal in recession-hit Japan

Mainland indices mixed

China's Shanghai Composite index extended 2014's positive momentum to rally 3.5 percent on Monday, hitting its highest level since December 2009 on its first trading session of the year.

Among top gainers, train makers CSR and China CNR rose the maximum allowable of 10 percent, benefiting from last week's confirmation of a $26 billion merger.

Chinese airlines also surged on the back of a cut in fuel surcharge announced by the Civil Aviation Administration of China on December 31. Air China charged up 10 percent while China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines scaled up 7.1 and 8.5 percent each.

However, Founder Securities underperformed the bourse, closing down 4.1 percent, after major shareholders sough court protection for some assets.

Read MoreChina investigates Nanjing city chief for graft

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index erased losses to hover near the flatline late Monday. Casino operator Melco Crown was in focus after it applied for a withdrawal of its listing in Hong Kong, citing limited fundraising opportunities and compliance obligations. The gaming stock slid 3.6 percent on Monday.

"I don't think there's anything sinister in this delisting," Nicholas Studholme-Wilson, VP and senior research analyst at Sun Hung Kai Financial, told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia."

"If you look at the trading volume, it is ridiculously illiquid [and] at this day and age, it is so easy to deal with U.S. stock if you live in Hong Kong so you might as well have one stock. I don't think this means they are throwing int he towel, it is just a technical reason," he added.

ASX rises 0.3%

Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 index closed up modestly on Monday, after briefly falling below the flatline at midday, as the broader resources sector held on to gains.

Energy producers Oil Search and Santos added 1.4 and 0.9 percent each while a 0.3 percent rise in spot gold in Asian trade helped Alacer Gold and Kingsgate finished more than 8 percent higher.

Miners reacted to fluctuations in the iron ore spot price; BC Iron and Fortescue Metals reversed gains to fall 3.2 and 0.4 percent, respectively, while smaller player Atlas Iron trimmed gains to 11 percent late Monday. Mining giant Rio Tinto settled 0.3 percent higher after The Australian Financial Review reported that it could announce a $5 billion share buyback next month.

Bank of Queensland was in focus following news that acting chief executive Jon Sutton has been appointed to take the helm at the bank. Shares of the lender closed down 0.3 percent on Monday.

Meanwhile, Australia's performance of manufacturing index (PMI) fell in December as firms reported a sharp drop in new orders, according to a survey by the Australian Industry Group.

Read MoreThis week's market watch list: China, Australia data

Kospi falls 0.5%

South Korean shares recovered some losses in the afternoon session to back away from a two-and-a-half-week low attained early Monday, as energy counters trimmed losses.

Hurt by the ongoing slide in energy prices, SK Innovation and S-Oil eventually closed down 2.4 and 0.7 percent each.

Among blue-chips, steelmaker Posco led declines with a 1.6 percent loss while Hyundai Motor and sister firm Kia Motors lost 0.6 percent, respectively. Samsung Electronics, which has the heaviest weighing on the Kospi index, erased losses to inch up 0.2 percent in the final hour of trade.

Read MoreNarendra Modi pledges India banking shake-up

Rest of Asia

India's Nifty index finished 0.2 percent higher on Monday, just shy of a four-week high attained earlier in the session.

Both Singapore's Straits Times index and Malaysia's benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index started the week on the back foot, losing 1.3 and 0.7 percent to hit near one-and-a-half-week lows.

Tracking FX markets

On Monday, the South Korean won sagged 0.3 percent against the dollar to trade at 1,109 - a near four-week low - compared to 1,103 at the end of Friday's session. The Australian dollar also hovered near its lowest level since May 2010 to fetch $0.8042 against the greenback.

In Indonesia, the rupiah extended losses from the previous week to trade at a two-and-a-half-week low of 12,666 against the U.S. dollar.

Meanwhile in Asian trade, the euro fell below an important support level at $1.20 to $1,192, its weakest level since June 2010, as investors bet on quantitative easing by the European Central Bank.