Mainland markets up
China's Shanghai Composite index closed up 2.5 percent to rewrite its highest trading level since February 2008 on the back of latest stimulus. Over the weekend, the People's Bank of China unveiled a 10-basis-point cut in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) to prop up its faltering economy.
Among gainers, China Shipbuilding Industry surged 5.5 percent, while China State Construction Engineering advanced 2.8 percent.
The country's largest private bank China Minsheng Banking said first-quarter net profit rose 5.5 percent, leading its shares in Shanghai up 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index notched up 0.4 percen to hit a more than one-week high.
Sunac China Holdings soared 11.7 percent to record highs after media reports said Kaisa Group's chairman denied blocking a deal to sell his family's 49.3 percent stake in the latter.
State-owned China Overseas Land & Investment elevated 4.5 percent, supported by a 4.5 percent on-year rise in first-quarter operating profit.
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ASX drops 0.6%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 index widened losses after the release of first-quarter consumer prices, which was interpreted as dampening the case of a rate cut next month.
The country's consumer price index (CPI) matched Reuters expectations to rise 0.2 percent for the first three months of this year, bringing the annual rate to 1.3 percent. As a result, the Australian dollar fired up as high as $0.7766 against the U.S. dollar, while it moved further away from parity with the New Zealand dollar at 1.0110 from 1.0063 prior to the data release.
Seeing that interest rates may be on hold, banking stocks tumbled; National Australia Bank and Westpac plunged more than 1 percent each, while Australia & New Zealand Banking and Commonwealth Bank of Australia closed down 0.7 percent each.
BHP Billiton, which delivered its quarterly production report before the market open, and Rio Tinto closed down 1.1 and 0.5 percent each as iron ore prices held near decade-lows. Oil counters also traded lower in tandem with the fall in oil prices in Asian trade; Santos and Oil Search receded more than 1 percent, respectively.