Japan's benchmark Nikkei bounced between gains and losses throughout the session as investors booked profits from Wednesday's 3 percent rally. Comments from Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda that the central bank will adjust monetary policy as needed were unable to lift sentiment.
Index heavyweight Fast Retailing fell 1.5 percent after rallying 2 percent in the previous session.
Camera maker Canon rose 1.2 percent after the Nikkei reported that operating profit for the first three months of the year jumped an annual 50 percent to $775 million.
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Shanghai drops 0.3%
Mainland shares fell as investors showed little reaction to news that authorities are cutting the reserve requirement ratios (RRR) for certain rural banks. The State Council said the move is aimed at stimulating growth in some parts of the country as those banks will now have more cash to lend.
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Financials declined; Pudong Development Bank and Shanghai Pudong fell over 1 percent each.
Real-estate shares declined ahead of home price data due on Friday. China Merchants Property fell 2.5 percent and Poly Real Estate lost 1.5 percent.