Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Stocks in Japan opened lower on Monday, held back in part by a stronger yen against the US dollar.
Ongoing concerns over international oil prices were also worrying some investors, reports BBC.
US and Brent crude lost about 4 per cent in trade on Friday, while the dollar was up more than 0.35 per cent against the yen on Monday.
The Nikkei 225 initially fell more than 0.7 per cent before reversing direction to rise 0.3 per cent to 16,016 points.
Analysts said that Friday’s fall in oil prices, which were dividing markets in Asia on Monday, were puzzling.
“Friday’s trade is hard to explain other than the fact oil got ahead of itself after a 22% rally in eight days,” said Evan Lucas of IG Markets in Melbourne.
Xiao Gang has been replaced by Liu Shiyu as the chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1 per cent to 2,888 in early trading, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up 0.5 per cent at 19,374 points.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi benchmark index was flat at 1,914 points.
“Stockpiling hit a record level and the ‘accord’ between OPEC and Russia has fallen off the front pages. We see an average price of $35 a barrel in [the second quarter],” he said.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.75 per cent to 4,989 points.
The country’s biggest steelmaker, BlueScope Steel, said first-half net profits more than doubled to A$200.1m ($142.8m; £100.2m) for the six months to December, compared to A$92.7m for the same period a year earlier, helped by a weaker Australian dollar.
Excluding one-off items, underlying net profit rose 47% to A$119m. BlueScope shares rose 1.7 per cent in Sydney and have added more than 25 per cent this year.
In China, investors welcomed the removal of the country’s securities regulator following recent stock market volatility.