Shares across Asia Pacific traded in a mix on Monday, with the lack of a major catalyst driving the entire market, even as the markets in the U.S. closed on record highs on Friday.
Chinese stocks made sharp gains in trade by lunchtime after opening poorly.
Shanghai Composite was up 0.94% at 3,032.91, and Shenzhen Component was up 0.78%.
Hong Kong's HSI index was up 0.51% at 28403.75, continuing on the gains it made last week to trade at its five months high since July 26.
South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.24% at 2,198.94, making losses through the day after trading at as high as 2207.30 in early trade.
Markets in Japan traded in red all day, continuing their losses from Friday.
Nikkei 225 traded 0.67% lower at 23,678.47, and TOPIX was down 0.66%.
According to the Japan Times, local investors are adopting a "wait-and-see approach" as the year comes to an end, and a host of overseas economic indicators, in particular from China and Hong Kong, are about to be released earlier in January.
The impact of ex-dividends and poor stock performance of a key retailer Fast Retailing Co Ltd (OTC: FRCOF) at the Tokyo exchange are also contributing negatively to the market, the Japan Times noted.
Stock markets in Japan and South Korea will remain closed on Tuesday for New Year's eve, meaning this is effectively the last trading for these markets this year.
Australia's ASX/200 Index traded 0.25% lower. Singapore's STI index was 0.24% down.
The Asian currencies gained against the dollar. Chinese yuan traded 0.17% higher at 6.9835 against the U.S. dollar. The Japanese yen traded at 109.13, against the last close of 109.41.
The Hong Kong dollar was mostly unchanged at 7.7873.