Asian markets finished on either side of the flat-line on the first trading day of the new year.
On the other side, Mumbai's BSE Sensex, which was trading higher earlier in the session, gave up early gains to end 1.4% down.
Mainland China's Shanghai Composite, meanwhile, closed 0.3% lower.
Japan's Nikkei remained closed.
Investors were reacting to manufacturing data released in China today that showed industrial activity in the world's second largest economy grew at a slightly slower pace in December, with export orders declining for the first time since August.
The final print of December HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at a three-month low of 50.5, unchanged from the flash reading released earlier this month.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in economic activity and vice-versa.
Although in line with expectations, the December reading came in lower than the final print of 50.8 in November -- which undermined investor confidence during the Asian session.
Stocks on the Move
Metal players in Hong Kong were mostly lower. Angang Steel lost 1.7%, Jiangxi Copper erased around 1% and Aluminium Corp. of China gave up 1.1%.
Among oil stocks CNOOC lost 0.3%, whereas China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. fell 1%. China Shenhua Energy dropped over 2%.
In the financials segment, ICBC fell 0.8%, Agricultural Bank of China slipped 0.8% while China Life Insurance retreated 1.5%.
Retailers, however, were on the other side of the ladder. Esprit Holdings soared over 4% while Belle International Holdings edged up 0.5%.
In Mumbai, stocks lost momentum in the final hours of trading as gains fizzled out amid profit booking.
Top losers on the 30-share benchmark index were BHEL, Tata Power, Coal India, L&T and Bharti Airtel, down in the range of 3% to 3.5%.
Among banks, SBI eased 1.3%, HDFC Bank lost 1.2% while ICICI Bank fell over 2%.
On the other side, Australian miners were the star performers of the day.
Gold mining companies found solid support following the uptick in gold futures. OceanaGold Corp. bounced over 8%, Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. zoomed over 10% while Newcrest Mining surged more than 8%.
Among others, diversified iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto improved 1.9% and around 1% respectively, while index leader BHP Billiton added a modest 0.6%.
Adding to the gains, retailers bounced back from early losses with Wesfarmers Ltd., Woolworths Ltd. and Myer Holdings adding around 02% to 0.4% each.