Stocks in Tokyo and Shanghai lost ground Monday in quiet trading with most of the region's other key markets closed for public holidays.
Thanks to constantly declining international prices of crude over the past two years, net oil importing countries have benefitted immensely.
Europe's stock markets were stable Friday on the last trading day before Christmas, with banks topping the agenda after huge U.S. fines and a bailout in Italy.
European equities fell Thursday on Italian woes in quiet pre-holiday trade, but Milan rose as investors eyed a likely state bailout of crippled bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
Despite her conviction by a French court for negligence, Christine Lagarde is likely to continue to lead the International Monetary Fund even at the risk of weakening the fund's image.
For an industry that has seen no end of drama over the past six years or so, 2016 will go down as one of the stormiest 12 months on record.
Most Asian and European markets struggled Tuesday, with traders spooked by geopolitical concerns following deadly attacks in Europe, but Tokyo's Nikkei returned to winning ways.
The U.S. dollar retreated against most major peers in Asian trade on Monday as investors cashed in after a Federal Reserve-fueled surge last week, while equities were also lower due to China-U.S. tensions.
The dollar held its gains against most other currencies in Asia on Friday following the Federal Reserve's interest rate call, while the unit's surge against the yen provided fresh impetus to Japanese stocks.
Global wage growth has slowed significantly, a worrying development that could fuel further inequality and suppress consumption worldwide, a United Nations report said Thursday.