Asian equities were mixed on Tuesday as a break down in negotiations between Greece and its European creditors, an absence of lead from Wall Street, along with a mixed bag of corporate earnings across Asia, depressed trading sentiment. Meanwhile, light trading was evident ahead of a long holiday this week due to the Chinese New Year.
Greece rejected a bailout proposal by its euro zone partners on Monday, throwing up uncertainty over talks related to its debt. European markets ended modestly lower on Monday, while the euro dropped to $1.1340 before bobbing back to $1.1354 against the U.S. dollar in Asian trading.
"The latest developments from Europe have resulted in some mixed trading for Asia," Stan Shamu, IG's market strategist, wrote in a note. "Greece seems to be moving further away from a compromise with Europe's finance ministers and the fact it walked away from negotiations is not good for risk at all."
Meanwhile, U.S. markets were shuttered on Monday for a public holiday.
Mainland indices up
Shanghai shares finished 0.8 percent higher at a near three-week high as latest data threw up some signs of stabilization in China's property market. New home prices posted their fifth month of annual drops in January, down 5.1 percent from the year-ago period, according to Reuters calculations based on statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The Shanghai Composite index has chalked up a seven-day winning streak thus far.
The property sector was the flavor of the day; Shanghai Shimao rocketed by the daily maximum allowable of 10 percent. Poly Real Estate and China Vanke rose over 1 percent each, while China Merchants Property and Gemdale advanced 1 and 0.9 percent, respectively.
Despite weakness in the data, people expect the government to help support the market in the form of [interest] rate cuts, which will be positive for the sector," Du Jinsong, head of Asia Property Research at Credit Suisse, told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box."
In Hong Kong, Ozner Water remain halted following negative research published by Glaucus Research Group, which sent the stock down as much as 25 percent on Monday.
ASX loses 0.5%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 index backed away from Monday's seven-year closing high on the back of steep losses among the miners and two major lenders.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group fell 2.5 percent following a modest rise of 3.5 percent in first-quarter cash profit and after the bank warned of a "slightly tougher, more volatile" operating conditions. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, meanwhile, fell 3.7 percent. However, helping to offset the sector's losses, Macquarie Group surged 3.5 percent after its CEO said it expects this fiscal year's profit at the "upper end" of forecasts.
Among other companies reporting earnings, mining major Fortescue Metals closed down a hefty 4.9 percent after posting a steep 81 percent dive in first-half results. Engineering group Monadelphous erased early gains to settle 0.3 percent lower following a 30 percent slide in half-year profit. Consumer electronics retailer Dick Smiths lost 6.7 percent, while jobs website Seek tanked nearly 10 percent despite posting a 64 percent jump in first-half profit. Amcor was the outperformer, rising 2.6 percent on the back of better half-year net profit.
Nikkei slips 0.1%
Exporter stocks were mixed as a result of the stronger currency: Toshiba recouped losses to inch up 0.3 percent, while Toyota Motor, Sony and Canon made losses between 0.3 to 0.6 percent. Index heavyweights Fast Retailing and mobile carrier Softbank led the bourse lower, losing 1.3 and 0.5 percent each.
On the domestic front, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) commences its two-day monthly meeting, a day after gross domestic product (GDP) data showed Japan emerged from technical recession
Kospi adds 0.2%
South Korean markets rebounded into positive territory in the afternoon session, but light trade prevailed ahead of a three-day-long Chinese New Year holiday.
Hyundai Motor was the outperformer, charging up nearly 3 percent, on news that the carmaker will spend around $1.8 billion by 2020 to expand its production capacity as well as invest in research and development of new vehicles.
Tong Yang Life Insurance bolstered 3 percent, recovering modestly from Monday's 9 percent slump following news that China's Anbang Insurance Group will buy a controlling stake in the South Korean life insurer for about $1 billion.
Meanwhile, the country's central bank kept interest rates unchanged for a fourth straight month, in line with expectations.
Rest of Asia
Singapore's key Straits Times index finished 0.4 percent lower despite revised data showed the country expanding at a much faster pace than earlier thought in the final quarter of 2014. The Southeast Asian city-state grew an annualized 4.9 percent in the October-December period, more than double of a 2.1 percent estimate from Reuters and much better than the 1.6 percent previous print.
CapitaLand elevated 1.1 percent after reporting a robust 187 percent leap in fourth-quarter profit. Shares of commodity trader Noble Group added a 5 percent decline to Monday's 8.7 percent slump following a critical report by Iceberg Research.