Asia markets mixed; oil prices closely watched after OPEC warns on output 

  • Asia markets traded mixed on Monday afternoon as investors remained wary about global risks that include a trade fight between the U.S. and China, growth outlook, as well as oil prices.
  • Oil prices were closely watched on Monday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies warned about surging oil output that is set to leave the crude market oversupplied in 2019.

Asia markets traded mixed on Monday afternoon as investors remained wary about global risks that include a trade fight between the U.S. and China, growth outlook, as well as oil prices.

Japan's Nikkei 225 erased early losses of more than 0.7 percent to close fractionally higher at 22,269.88 while the Topix index slightly slipped to 1,671.95.

SoftBank's domestic telecoms unit received approval on Monday to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in an initial public offering worth $21.04 billion, Reuters reported, citing regulatory filing, making it one of the biggest IPOs ever. The company, SoftBank Corp, will list on Dec. 19, the news agency added.

The news emerged after the Japanese markets closed for the trading day — SoftBank Group shares were marginally lower.

In South Korea, the Kospi fell 5.65 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,080.44.

Markets in Greater China were mostly positive. The Shanghai Composite rose 31.64 points, or 1.22 percent, to 2,630.51 while the Shenzhen composite added 33.55 points, or 2.52 percent, to 1,361.74. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index traded fractionally higher in the afternoon.

Major indexes in India, Indonesia and Singapore all traded lower.

In Australia, the ASX 200 erased earlier losses to rise 19.50 points, or 0.33 percent, to 5,941.30. The heavily-weighted financial subindex fell 0.28 percent as shares of some major banks tumbled: ANZ shares were down 2.95 percent and the National Australia Bank declined 0.08 percent. Westpac shares were up 0.14 percent and Commowealth Bank rose 1.16 percent.

Oil prices were closely watched on Monday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies warned about surging oil output that is set to leave the crude market oversupplied in 2019.

A committee of several OPEC members and other crude exporters said that a larger group of roughly two dozen nations may have to launch a fresh round of output cuts in order to keep the oil market balanced. That announcement came as rising supply and a weaker outlook for demand have contributed to a sharp pullback in oil prices.

Saudi Arabia also said it plans to reduce oil supply to world markets by 0.5 million barrels per day in December, according to Reuters.

"The fairly quick downward correction in oil prices has finally stirred OPEC members to broach the topic of more output cuts over the weekend," Wei Liang Chang, a foreign-exchange strategist at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a morning note. "Even so, the correction in oil prices appears partly due to a pullback in global equities, and output management risks exaggerating price moves when market sentiment reverses."

The announcements from the oil producers gave a fillip to energy prices during Asian trading hours.

U.S. crude traded up 1.25 percent at $60.94 a barrel while global benchmark Brent was up 1.82 percent at $71.46.

In the currency market, the dollar index, which measures the U.S. dollar against a basket of its peer, traded at 97.371, up from levels below 96.000 in the previous week.

Analysts said that the dollar "reasserted itself" as sentiment fell in the stock market last Friday.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.14 to the dollar, weakening from an earlier high of 113.70, while the Australian dollar traded at $0.7204.

CNBC's Tom DiChristopher contributed to this report.