The Japanese benchmark closed lower on Monday after seven straight sessions of gains as the yen rose sharply against the dollar and oil prices slipped.
Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 0.13 percent, or 24.33 points, at 18,356.89, clawing back earlier losses of more than 0.8 percent. The weakness in the Japanese benchmark is likely due to yen strength, which is seen as a negative for Japanese export-oriented stocks.
The dollar fell more than 1 percent against the dollar earlier, but was trading at 112.13 around 2:10 pm HK/SIN. The dollar/yen hovered at levels above 113 last week.
Australia's ASX 200 finished 0.79 percent lower, or 43.385 points, at 5,464.4, weighed by weaknesses in its energy sub-index, which fell 1.93 percent, and its materials sub-index, which was down 1.29 percent.
Tabcorp jumped 1.94 percent at $4.72 per share, after The Mail on Sunday reported that British bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral planned to make a 2 billion pound ($2.5 billion) bid for the Australian betting company.