Japanese shares outperformed on Thursday thanks to a weaker yen, while the rest of Asian equity markets fell on fears of a reduction in U.S. stimulus and weak Chinese manufacturing data.
Minutes from the Federal Reserve's October policy meeting showed officials believed economic conditions would pave the way for a reduction in asset purchases in coming months.
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"The price action in equities, Treasurys and currencies suggests that there was a major shift or revelation by the Fed but in reality the minutes contained very little surprises and did not say anything that we had not all already known," said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in a note.
Meanwhile, HSBC's China flash purchasing manager's index (PMI) for November fell to 50.4 from a seven-month high of 50.9 in October, sparking doubts about the sustainability of the mainland's economic recovery.