Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.07 percent or 209.46 points to close at 19,860.03, while the Kospi reversed earlier gains to trade lower. The Kospi closed the session down 0.12 percent or 2.77 points at 2,344.61.
Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 finished the session up 0.24 percent or 13.528 points at 5,738.1.
Markets in greater China were mixed. The Hang Seng Index was higher by 0.49 percent at 3:05 p.m. HK/SIN. The Shanghai Composite closed lower by 0.5 percent or 15.4795 points at 3,101.6983 while the Shenzhen Composite fell 1.919 percent or 34.6956 points to finish the session at 1,773.6063.
This followed the release of Caixin manufacturing PMI figures for China in the month of May. The data showed factory activity fell to an 11 month low, coming in at 49.6 compared to the 50.1 forecast.
The Caixin PMI read weighed on the Australian dollar, which fetched as high as $0.7454 earlier on the back of domestic retail sales figures. The Aussie traded at $0.7407 at 2:45 p.m. HK/SIN.
"Today's data is a reminder of what is important for Australia — and it's that a soft China overrides positive domestic data for Australia, as this feeds back into their own growth and inflationary projects," ThinkMarkets Senior Market Analyst Matt Simpson said.
"Whichever (way) you spin it, the Aussie is not in for a good session from here."
Indonesian markets were closed for a public holiday.