In China, shares fell from a near seven-month high, hit by weakness in the property and financial sectors after official media said a stricter enforcement of property curbs was needed to crimp rising home prices.
The CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings closed down 0.4 percent at 2,525.3. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.4 percent. Both indexes had closed at their highest since mid-June on Monday.
Longfor Properties and Evergrande fell 2.3 and 1.5 percent, respectively, in Hong Kong despite posting December sales that helped both companies exceed their stated 2012 targets. Poly Real Estate fell 0.8 percent in Shanghai
China's third-largest insurer China Pacific Insurance slumped 2.3 percent in Hong Kong after Carlyle Group plans to sell its remaining stake in the firm in a deal valued at up to $790 million.
BYD, a Chinese carmaker backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, jumped 2.6 percent after it said on Monday it had gained official permission to sell its electric buses in all European Union member states.
Hong Kong shares closed at their lowest in a week, as investors took profit on mainland property counters after an official media report raised fears of more stringent enforcement of sector curbs, stalling its strong gains in recent months.
The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.9 percent at 23,111.1, its lowest since January 2. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 2.2 percent.
Ping An Insurance sank 4.0 percent after sources told Reuters that state-run China Development Bank (CDB) has expressed concern over the funding behind the effort of Thai conglomerate CP Group to buy HSBC's stake in China's second-largest insurer.
In Southeast Asia, Singapore's Straits Times Index closed 0.4 percent lower while Malaysia's KLCI Composite Index ended down 0.3 percent.
India's BSE Index finished up 0.3 percent while the 50-share NSE Index ended 0.2 percent higher.