Most Asian indexes closed lower on Tuesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's September meeting as investors awaited clues from the central bank on future monetary policy.
Japan markets were an outlier, however, soaring after reopening after a public holiday.
The Nikkei 225 surged 1.96 percent, or 389.88 points, to close at 20,299.38, as markets played catch-up following the long weekend. Exporters, trading houses and retailers notched gains as the dollar extended overnight gains against the yen.
Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 reversed gains made earlier in the session to close down 0.12 percent at 5,713.6. The heavily-weighted financials sub-index was off 0.02 percent despite trading higher earlier in the day.
South Korea's benchmark Kospi index shed 0.09 percent to close at 2,416.05, with tech stocks giving up some gains made in the previous session. Samsung Electronics fell 0.69 percent by the end of the session after rising to a record high on Monday.
Greater China markets edged down. The Hang Seng Index slid 0.11 percent by 3:12 p.m. HK/SIN and mainland markets pared early gains. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.18 percent to close at 3,356.6546 and the Shenzhen Composite shed 0.357 percent to finish the session at 1,995.6012.
Exhaustion in Asian equities could be due to a lack of strong drivers in the markets, Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG, suggested in a note. Pan pointed to how regional markets had risen on Monday mainly due to confidence from U.S. markets, but risk events in coming days "made the appeal for caution ahead."