On the corporate news front, Singapore's DBS Group said it would buy ANZ's retail and wealth operations in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Indonesia for about $110 million ($80 million).
"This transaction simplifies our business while allowing us to continue to benefit from high levels of growth in the region through a focus on our ... large corporate and institutional clients driven by trade and capital flows particularly in Australia and New Zealand," said ANZ Chief Executive Officer Shayne Elliot, in an official statement.
ANZ investors appear to have viewed the deal favorably, with the stock up 0.83 percent at A$27.85 ($21.18). But DBS Group share dipped 0.07 percent to S$14.91 ($10.72), likely capped by the Singapore lender reporting a flat net profit and interest income in the third-quarter.
Three Japanese shippers announced a joint venture to merge their container shipping operations, sending the stocks in all three gyrating. Shares in Nippon Yusen were up 6.44 percent, while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha trimmed its gains to 0.39 percent. Mitsui OSK Lines surged 5.62 percent.
The global shipping industry has in recent years struggled with sluggish global demand and overcapacity. The three firms said the merger would see annual cost benefits of about 110 billion yen ($1.05 billion), Reuters reported.
"While [the three Japanese carriers] do cooperate on many services, what they lack individually is scale, a crucial requirement when competing on the main east-west trades (the Asia-Europe/transpacific route) with the big carriers such as Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM," said Greg Knowler, maritime and trade expert at IHS Markit, in a Monday note.
"The merger of their container businesses will provide the scale in vessel capacity the new Japanese joint venture needs to participate on all services operated by the alliance," he added.
In South Korea, the embattled container shipping company Hanjin Shipping traded up 24.75 percent on news of Seoul's plan to establish a state-backed ship financing company to support the hard-hit industry.