Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index ended lower as the yen strengthened slightly against the dollar.
The Nikkei closed down 135.08 points, or 0.8% at 17,248.50 in subdued trade ahead of the US Thanksgiving holiday.
The dollar weakened slightly against the yen, edging down to 117.37 yen from 117.72 yen in New York trade.
Toyota’s shares fell 0.5% after the car giant said it would recall 57,000 more vehicles to replace potentially deadly air bags made by Takata.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index closed down 107.70 points, or 0.45%, at 24,004.28.
However, China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose ended up 26.14 points at 2,630.49 – its highest close for more than three years.
Investors have been encouraged by last week’s unexpected interest rate cut by China, and by speculation that further stimulus measures are on the way.
In Australia, shares ended higher after data showed that business investment rose 0.2% in the third quarter, beating expectations of a fall.
New home sales also rose 3% in October to their highest in four months, showing signs of a resilient economy.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 4.71 points to 5,400.92.