Asia-Pacific (APAC) stock indexes are mostly higher in trading on Monday after US President Donald Trump signed the country's $2.3 trillion fiscal year 2021 budget, which includes a $900 billion pandemic economic support package.
At the same time, investors are concerned about the worldwide spread of a new strain of coronavirus previously identified in the UK. The first cases of infection with the "British" strain of coronavirus were confirmed in South Korea.
According to the Korea Agency for Disease Control and Prevention, three people infected with the strain, first identified in the UK, arrived in South Korea from London.
Meanwhile, Beijing authorities have tightened quarantine measures over fears that travel during the holiday period could lead to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Chinese capital.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index was up 0.62 percent.
Retailer J. Front Retailing Co. are down 3.3% and automaker Subaru Corp. by 3.3%.
China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.05 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.12 percent.
Chinese authorities have asked Ant Group Co. to limit its business to providing online payment services. The country's central bank held a meeting over the weekend with the company's management to discuss its credit, insurance and asset management services business. While the regulator did not call for the separation of Ant, it stressed the need to "reorganise the business" of the company.
The share price of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group Holding Ltd, which owns a stake in Ant, is down 7.5% in Hong Kong trading.
South Korea's Kospi was up 0.13% in trading.
LG Electronics shares jumped 12.5%. Last week, the South Korean consumer electronics maker announced a joint venture with Canada's Magna International Inc. to produce key components for electric vehicles.
South Korea's Air Busan Co. was down 8.6 percent.