×

Asia stocks kick off Q4 mixed; Hong Kong weighs

Asian stocks were mixed on the first day of the fourth-quarter as investors focused on political unrest in Hong Kong and key Chinese data.

Pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong gained momentum as China's week-long national day holiday kicked off on Wednesday. Now in its fifth day, the mass campaign has spread to the city's Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district and continues to disrupt businesses.

Hong Kong markets are closed until Friday, while Shanghai markets are shut until October 7.

Read MoreLive Blog: HK protesters not budging, deadline looms

Meanwhile, China's official purchasing manager's index (PMI) for September came in unchanged from the previous month at 51.1. The data follows HSBC's final PMI reading on Tuesday, which was also unchanged from August.

Sentiment was also impacted by news that the U.S. confirmed one case of the Ebola virus.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
---
HSI
---
ASX 200
---
SHANGHAI
---
KOSPI
---
CNBC 100
---

Nikkei 0.5% lower

Japan's benchmark Nikkei ended at a two-week low following a choppy session as investors shrugged off the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey that showed business sentiment improving in the three months to September.

The index briefly reversed losses when yen hit a new six-year low of 110 per dollar but fell back into negative territory once the currency moved off that level.

Sony and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial were among the most actively traded stocks on the index. Sony fell 1 percent while shares of the lender gained 1 percent.

Read MoreThis market will steal the show in fourth quarter

ASX up 0.8%

Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 rebounded from a seven-month low hit earlier in the session thanks to strong gains in the banking sector.

The 'Big Four' banks extended the previous day's rally with Australia New Zealand Banking leading gains by 1.6 percent.

Retailers were mixed after August retail sales inched up just 0.1 percent on month, lower than estimates for a 0.4 percent gain. Harvey Norman gained 0.8 percent while Premier Investments lost 1.5 percent.

Read MoreWill October rattle markets more than usual?

Kospi 1.4% lower

South Korean shares dropped to their lowest level in over two months, down for a fourth session.

Electronic exporters ignored data showing September exports posted their fastest rise in nine months. Electronic goods account for over one-fifth of total exports. Samsung Electronics lost over 2 percent while LG Electronics tumbled over 4 percent.

Nifty down 0.2%

Indian shares finished lower due to heavy losses in oil and gas stocks on the back of lower crude oil prices.

Correction: This story has been updated to show the Nikkei briefly reversed losses before falling back into negative territory