China shares closed flat, paring losses after Reuters reported that the mainland IPO market could be frozen until the end of March, a move that would reduce competition in the A-share market.
The Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI300 of top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings both closed flat. Both indexes have been hovering near its highest since mid-June after a strong December surge.
Hong Kong shares rebounded from its lowest in a week, resuming a start-of-the year rally that has the main indexes headed towards multi-month highs, with Chinese banks stronger following a brokerage's upgrade for the sector.
The Hang Seng Index ended up 0.5 percent at 23,218.5, recovering from its lowest close since December 31 set on Tuesday. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.9 percent.
Bank of China (BOC) climbed 1.1 percent to HK$3.59 after UBS raised its price target by 31 percent from HK$3.05 to HK$4, citing its attractive valuation that make BOC the least expensive among the larger H-share banks.
China Railway Group jumped 5.1 percent and China Railway Construction rose 3 percent after JP Morgan analysts raised their price target for both these stocks by about 40 percent.
MGM China shares jumped 7 percent after the company received government approval for a $2.5 billion Macau casino.
Over in Southeast Asia, Singapore's Straits Times Index closed 0.5 percent higher while Malaysia's KLCI Composite Index ended up 0.06 percent.
In India, the BSE Index finished 0.4 percent lower and the 50-share NSE Index closed down 0.5 percent.