In economic news, China's manufacturing activity accelerated more than expected in June, suggesting the world's second-largest economy continued to confound expectations for a slowdown. The official manufacturing PMI rose to 51.7, compared with the 51.0 forecast in a Reuters poll.
The Australian dollar, which is sensitive to Chinese economic data, climbed for a third straight session to trade at $0.7672 at 3:45 p.m. HK/SIN, trading as high as $0.7712 following the news. The rise in the Aussie also comes on the back of a rally in iron ore prices, which have increased for three straight sessions.
The yuan strengthened against the dollar for the fourth consecutive session and is set for its best week since 2005, Reuters said. The on-shore yuan traded at 6.7805 to the dollar at 4:00 p.m. HK/SIN. In the offshore market, the yuan traded at 6.7790 to the dollar.
The People's Bank of China had set the yuan midpoint at 6.7744 per dollar before the market open. Reuters reported that this was its strongest level since Nov. 7, 2016.
Japan core CPI for the month of May rose 0.4 percent on year, in line with expectations. May industrial production figures reflected a fall of 3.3 percent, compared with the previous month, Reuters reported.
Tech stocks in South Korea were mixed following the fall in big name technology companies on Wall Street overnight. Samsung Electronics closed down by 0.83 percent and SK Hynix fell 1.61 percent.
In Japan, Nintendo lost 2.84 percent and Yahoo Japan was off 1.41 percent, while in Taiwan, Hon Hai shed 1.68 percent.