Major markets in Asia closed narrowly mixed on the last trading day of the year following the moderately higher close seen stateside. On the whole, however, most regional markets have recorded strong gains year-to-date.
The Nikkei 225 was in negative territory, slipping 0.08 percent to close at 22,764.94, as the dollar slipped further against the yen. Still, the index saw gains of some 19 percent for the year. Banks made gains in the session, while automakers and tech names finished mixed. Retailers saw slight losses.
Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.38 percent to end at 6,065.1, with losses seen in most sectors, barring materials and health care. Banking stocks were slightly lower on the whole: ANZ closed down 0.24 percent and Westpac was lower by 0.63 percent. Among mining names, Rio Tinto climbed 1.23 percent and Fortescue Metals shed 1.21 percent by the end of the day.