Asian equities finished mixed in Monday trade on the back of heightened geopolitical tensions after a move by the U.S. military to send an aircraft carrier group near the Korean Peninsula and a U.S. missile strike in Syria last Friday.
North Korea responded to the U.S. strike on a Syrian airbase by stating that it was a justification for its own nuclear weapons program, adding that it had to protect itself against Washington's "reckless moves for a war." A U.S. Navy strike group is expected to move closer to the Korean peninsula following North Korea's multiple nuclear missile test launches.
The news did not weigh on Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose by 0.71 percent or 133.25 points to finish at 18,797.88. Japanese automakers were higher on the back of a weaker yen, with Mazda Motor leading gains and up by 1.96 percent to close at 1,531.5 yen per share.
Suzuki Motor shares closed higher by 1.44 percent at 4,580 yen a share. "While the shares have come a long way ... they remain attractive at the current level, in light of the prospects for longer-term demand growth in India and the rock-solid dealer network Suzuki has build there, the company's low risk-weighting to the U.S. market, and global sales trends," Citi's Arifumi Yoshida, Yingqiu Zhang and Manabu Hagiwara said in a note.
Likewise, the ASX 200 bounced 0.86 percent or 50.431 points to close at 5,912.900, driven by its materials and utilities sub-indexes which rose 2.08 percent and 1.19 percent respectively.
Miner Rio Tinto paid $4 billion in taxes and royalties last year and was ordered to pay an extra $284 million with interest due to its operations in tax-friendly destinations. The news comes as the Australian Taxation Office pays greater attention to the amount of taxes paid by multinational corporations in Australia. Rio Tinto was up by 1.42 percent and finished at A$60.86 a stock.