Asian shares were in mixed territory on February 5 ahead of a closely watched US monthly jobs report.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 1.32% to 16,819.59 points as a stronger yen against the dollar hurt the country’s big exporters for a second day.
Toyota and Honda shares finished the day down about 2%, while Mazda shed nearly 5%.
However, the company’s operating profit for the quarter fell by 5.3%, missing forecasts.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 spent the day in negative territory and closed flat, down 0.08% to 16,819.59.
The country’s big lenders had weighed on the market and analysts said traders were being cautious ahead of a US jobs report due out later.
Energy companies regained lost territory late in the day, however, with Woodside finishing up 0.41% and rival Santos up 2.2%. Mining giant BHP finished up close to 5%.
Official numbers released earlier showed Australia’s retail sales had come in flat for the month of December – a 0.4% gain was expected.
However, analysts said the numbers still supported economic growth.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was up 0.4% to 19,255.88 points in afternoon trade, while the mainland’s benchmark Shanghai Composite closed down 0.63% to 2,763.49.
South Korea’s Kospi index closed flat, up just 0.08% to 1,917.79.