Asian stocks tracked declines in global equity markets on Thursday on fears over a looming withdrawal of U.S. stimulus but a better-than-expected manufacturing report in the mainland helped pare earlier losses.
HSBC's preliminary reading of Chinese purchasing manager's index (PMI) for August crossed the key 50-level for the first time in four months thanks to a rebound in new orders. The upbeat data is the latest sign of stabilization in China and follows July's flash reading of 47.1, which marked an eleven-month low.
Meanwhile, minutes from the Fed's latest policy meeting failed to provide clarity on when the central bank might start reducing its stimulus program. This drove yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury to a session high of 2.884 percent.
(Read more: Keep printing? Fed stays in game, but exit looms)