Tokyo lost 0.4 percent to 8,442.5 while China’s benchmark Shanghai index edged up 0.1 percent to 2,191.23. Seoul, Taipei, Singapore and Jakarta declined. Hong Kong and Sydney were closed.
Investors are pessimistic amid expectations that upcoming indicators including Chinese manufacturing and Christmas retail sales in key Western markets will be lackluster, said Peng Yunliang, a market strategist for Shanghai Securities.
"The markets expect these data will be no good," Peng said. "Some people think sales data from Christmas in the United States and Europe will not be as good as last year."