ASIAN stock markets closed generally mixed yesterday on what for most exchanges was the year's first day of trading. In Australia, share prices closed weaker in lacklustre trading in the absence of any direction from overseas markets. The markets remained closed in Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand for holidays. In the Philippines, share prices closed higher on foreign buying following the strengthening of the US dollar against the peso. Share prices in South Korea closed mixed, with the key index slipping because of a drop in blue chips. Singapore share prices also closed mixed, with traders saying there was little interest shown by institutional and retail investors. Share prices in Indonesia closed slightly higher.