Japanese markets mostly failed to react to the appointment of Yasuo Fukuda as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party on Sunday. The appointment opens the way for Fukuda to take over the reins of departing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 average fell 22.95 points, or 0.14 percent to 16,289.66. in mid-day trading after rising as high as 16,317.19 following an extended holiday weekend. The broader Topix index was virtually flat, rising 1.22 points, or 0.08 percent to 1,553.29.
Toyota shares posted a gain of 1.4 percent a day after unionized employees of American rival General Motors launched their first national strike in 37 years after failing to work out a new labor contract.
A pair of Australian commodities stocks posted rose Tuesday. Shares of BHP Billiton, the worldâ€™s largest mining company, gained 1.7 percent and shares of Rio Tinto Plc, the third biggest, were up 2.5 percent on strong oil and metal prices.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 101.540 points, or 0.382 percent to 26,450.40. Australia shares were up as the S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 36 points, or 0.558 percent to 6,487.50. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 20.51 points, or 0.37 percent to 5,464.50 Markets in South Korea and Taiwan were closed.
Meanwhile, in currency trading, the yen rose to 114.73 versus the dollar. The Australian dollar was down to 99.329 versus the yen.
On Monday, U.S. stocks dipped as investors locked in gains resulting from last weekâ€™s decision by the Federal Reserve to ease interest rates as a move to keep the economy from falling into recession. Blue-chip stocks of the Dow Industrial Average fell 61.1 points to 13,759.10. The technology heavy Nasdaq dropped 3.27 points to 2,667.95 and the S&P 500 index was down 8.02 points to 1,517.73.