In the currency market, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, traded at 97.99 as of 3:26 p.m. HK/SIN, coming off an earlier session high of 98.17.
The dollar strengthened on Friday, from levels below 97.80, after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank might want to let inflation run hotter for a while, pointing out that the economy had seen an unusual tendency for weak demand against strong supply.
She said that made it reasonable to ask if there was a possibility to reverse adverse supply-side effects by temporarily running an economy with robust aggregate demand and a tight labor market.
"Though the Fed chair offered no fresh clues on near term policy decisions, Yellen posed a lot of questions deemed worthy of further research, the one markets jumped on being the suggestion that running a 'high pressure' economy could boost labor market participation and ultimately lift the supply side potential of the U.S. economy," Ray Attrill, global co-head of foreign exchange strategy at the National Australia Bank, said in a morning note.
Stephen Innes, a senior trader at OANDA, said in another note that despite the Fed's "lower for longer" rhetoric, "the expected case for a December rate hike remains on course." But he added that given the division within the Federal Open Market Committee, the possible rate hike wasn't a done deal.
The relative strength in the dollar kept other currency majors lower; the British pound traded at $1.2178, compared with its last close at $1.2185, while the euro was at $1.0986, compared with levels above $1.10 in the previous week.
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar fell from an earlier session high of $0.7632 to around $0.7589 as of 3:30 p.m. HK/SIN.
Oil prices traded lower in the afternoon during Asian hours. U.S. crude futures were down 0.75 percent at $49.97 a barrel while the global benchmark Brent was off by 0.64 percent at $51.62 as of 3:31 p.m. HK/SIN.
That sent some energy plays around the region lower; Santos shares fell 2.43 percent, Oil Search was down 0.98 percent, South Korea's S-Oil retraced losses to trade flat, while Hong Kong listed shares of CNOOC fell 1.92 percent in late-afternoon trade. Japan's Inpex and Fuji Oil bucked the trend to close up 2.35 percent and 1.22 percent, respectively.
Elsewhere, shares of Panasonic closed up 2.05 percent, following reports the Japanese electronics maker was going to collaborate with Tesla Motors to manufacture solar cells and modules in the United States.
— CNBC's Barry Huang contributed to this report.
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