Asia Ends Mixed; China Stocks Hit 1-Week High
The Shanghai Composite rallied over 1 percent on Thursday as investors cheered news of easing regulations while Japan's Nikkei index closed off its five-and-a-half year peak after data showed that capital spending fell for a fifth straight month.
Japan's annualized first quarter growth topped forecasts but a drop in capital expenditure showed the economy was still dogged by deflation and heightened worries about the health of Japan Inc.
"Capital expenditure is going to continue to be a drag despite the improvement in corporate profits. Companies are still cautious about ramping up investment and you really need to see a higher level of export growth that pushes companies to invest," said Izumi Devalier, Japan economist at HSBC.
(Read More: Yen to Weaken to 120 by Next Year: Economist)
"Without the third arrow of Abenomics, which is the growth strategies and structural reforms, the corporate environmental is still very restrictive," she added.
The nation's top three lenders Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui slipped between 3 to 3.5 percent each after announcing weaker earnings guidance due to smaller profits from their trading business in Japanese government bonds.
Property developers helped the benchmark index pare early losses on news that regulators eased restrictions on the refinancing process for firms with real estate investments.
(Read More: Will China Join the Global Stocks Party?)
Vanke and Gemdale rallied 5 percent each while China Merchants Property soared 7 percent.
South Korea's leading internet search engine NHN surged 7.5 percent, tracking gains in its U.S counterpart Google, where share prices crossed $900 per share for the first time.
Oil refiners rallied on news that the government will scrap a diesel and gasoline import tax as refiners plan to start trading oil products on securities operator, the Korea Exchange. SK Holdings jumped 5.6 percent.
Australia Miners Weigh
Falling gold prices weighed on resource stocks and led the index to pare gains. Gold miners extended losses with Kingsgate Mining down 10 percent and Perseus Mining losing 9 percent.
(Read More: Australia the Next Euro Zone? Maybe)
Virgin Australia tanked 17 percent after the nation's second-biggest airline by market value downgraded its annual earnings guidance on Wednesday.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC