Tokyo's stock prices slipped Monday as traders held off moves before the release of economic data and Shanghai surged to a new record on buying of bank shares, while most other Asian markets were closed for Christmas Day.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index fell 12.07 points, or 0.07 percent, to finish at 17,092.89.
Monday's retreat came after the index added 57.13 points to finish 0.34 percent higher at 17,104.96 points last Friday _ its highest close since May 9.
Market sentiment was cautious Monday ahead of some economic indicators due this week, including November household spending on Tuesday, as traders want to see whether the data are likely to discourage the Bank of Japan from hiking interest rates next month.
Housing stocks and Internet services-related companies fell, with Sekisui House Ltd. dropping 1.64 percent and Softbank Corp. shedding 2.36 percent.
Meanwhile, shares of Victor Co. of Japan and Kenwood Co. jumped following media reports over the weekend that Matsushita Electric Industrial may sell struggling Victor shares to Kenwood.
Victor rose 3.40 percent, Kenwood added 3.41 percent and Matsushita Electric rose 1.07 percent.
In Shanghai, the benchmark index soared to another closing record as traders bought banks on hopes China Life Insurance will make a strong debut in January.
The Shanghai Composite index advanced 3.9 percent to 2,435.76 points. It rose as much as 4.6 percent during the day but retreated on profit taking.
The Shenzhen Composite Index jumped 1.5 percent to 543.42 points.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar gained against both the euro and the Japanese yen in Tokyo.
The euro fell to US$1.3143 from $1.3145.
The dollar bought 118.84 yen in Tokyo late Monday, up from 118.76 yen late Friday in New York.
Thai shares were boosted by bargain hunting in blue-chip banks. The Stock Exchange of Thailand index edged up 4.01 points, or 0.6 percent, to 684.32.
Taiwanese shares inched down, as declines in financial stocks outweighed gains in handset-related shares.
The Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange fell 5.66 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,646.81.
Stock markets in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Wellington were closed.