Asian markets were mixed on Monday, with Tokyo cheered by the yen hitting a five-year low against the dollar, while traders are broadly upbeat as they wind down for the end of a tumultuous year.
Wall Street provided a soft lead as investors prepared for the end of a year that has seen Tokyo enjoy its best performance in more than four decades, while Chinese stocks were the worst performer in the region.
Tokyo rose 0.69 percent, or 112.37 points, to 16,291.31 -- the index surged 56.72 percent over the past 12 months, the best annual performance since 1972.
Sydney added 0.61 percent, or 32.7 points, to 5,356.8 and Seoul closed 0.45 percent higher, adding 9.06 points to 2,011.34, while Shanghai slipped 0.18 percent, or 3.72 points, to 2,097.53. In the afternoon Hong Kong eased 0.21 percent.
Manila and Bangkok were closed for public holidays.
The Nikkei, which is closed on Tuesday, was lifted for the final day of the year as the yen suffered further selling pressure thanks to the positive outlook for the global economy.
“This has been a boom year -- it's been a long time since we've seen such a robust performance,” said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
“The rise beat most investors' expectations and many seem to think it will be another boom next year.”
Exporters were the main beneficiaries, as the weaker yen makes their goods cheaper overseas.
The dollar hit 105.41 yen in the morning session, its highest since October 2008 but in the afternoon it sat at 105.37 yen compared with 105.13 yen in New York Friday.
The euro fetched 144.74 yen against 144.37 yen in New York, after touching 145.69 yen Friday, also its highest its highest since October 2008.
In 2013 the yen has lost about a fifth of its value against the dollar and more than a quarter against the euro.
Europe's single currency bought $1.3735 Monday against $1.3743 Friday.
The euro has enjoyed strong buying after German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who sits on the European Central Bank's Governing Council, last week told a German newspaper that soft inflation should not justify unfettered monetary easing.
On Wall Street the Dow edged down 0.01 percent and the S&P 500 dipped 0.03 percent after ending at record highs again in the previous session. The tech-rich Nasdaq slipped 0.25 percent.
In Shanghai shares gave up earlier gains to end down Monday as dealers remain wary about a slowdown in the Chinese economy, while there are also worries about growing debt in the country that some analysts fear could hammer the financial system.
Eyes are this week on the release of manufacturing data from around the world, which will provide the latest snapshot of the state of the global economy.
Global markets have seen a mixed year, with most enjoying strong buying in the first half thanks to the US Federal Reserve's stimulus programme, which provided cheap cash for investment in mostly emerging economies.
However, traders began pulling out from May after Fed chief Ben Bernanke said it could begin to wind down its bond-buying operations as the US economy showed signs of strengthening.
In oil trade New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for February delivery, was up two cents at $100.34 in afternoon trade while Brent North Sea crude for February gained 19 cents to $112.37.
Gold fetched $1,206.70 at 0725 GMT compared with $1,211.56 late Friday.
In other markets:
* Taipei rose 1.04 percent, or 88.39 points, to 8,623.43.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co added 1.44 percent to Tw$106.0 while leading chip design house Mediatek was up 1.95 percent at Tw$444.5.
* Wellington ended flat, edging up 1.62 points to 4,768.98.
Telecom rose 0.21 percent to NZ$2.34 while Fletcher Building was unchanged at NZ$8.52. - AFP