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Japanese shares fall on TPP disappointment; earnings in focus

Asian shares ended mostly lower on Thursday, with Japan leading losses as investors were disappointed with the lack of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement during U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo.

"The fact that we haven't got a TPP deal ultimately does impact economic data and new sources of economic growth. We care from a long-term strategic perspective. It's tough to draw conclusions for shorter-term investment decisions but the fact is that investment portfolios at the end of the day are long-term decisions and longer term issues like trade deals do play an impact in that," said Manpreet Gill, senior investment strategist at Standard Chartered Bank.

A negative lead from Wall Street also dampened the mood. U.S. stocks lost ground on Wednesday as investors booked profits on the S&P 500 and a five-day winning streak on the Nasdaq. Weak data also weighed on sentiment; new home sales declined 14.5 percent in March, marking the worst sales month since July.

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NIKKEI
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ASX 200
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CNBC 100
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Apple suppliers in focus

Asian Apple suppliers rallied after the U.S. tech giant authorized a 7-for-1 stock split in an effort to share more of its cash hoard as well as approving an 8 percent dividend increase. In Taiwan, Catcher Tech surged over 6 percent while Japan's Daishinku rose over 1 percent.

Read MoreApple stock split: Nice, but where's the product?

Nikkei slips 1%

Japanese shares fell to a one-week low of 14,367 points before paring losses to close above 14,400 points. A stronger currency hit exporter shares with the yen trading near a one-week high of 102.1.

Toyota Motor eased over 1 percent despite selling a record 2.58 million vehicles globally and keeping its position as the world's best-selling car maker in the first quarter of 2014.

Read MoreWhy Japan's economy is in better shape than China's

Reporting after the market close, Canon posted a 16.4 percent rise in first-quarter net profit.

Shanghai down 0.5%

Mainland shares ended at their lowest levels since April 4 despite the announcement of further economic reforms. The State Council said on Wednesday that it would ease restrictions on private sector investments for infrastructure projects in railway, telecommunications, clean energy and pipelines.

Infrastructure-related stocks were mixed; China Railway Group rose 0.4 percent while Anhui Conch Cement lost nearly 1 percent.

News that the People's Bank of China drained funds from money markets in Thursday's open market operations also weighed on sentiment.

Read MoreWhy India's stock market may keep outperforming China

Kospi slips 0.1%

South Korean shares closed at a one-week low despite data showing the economy grew a quarterly 0.9 percent in January-March, a touch higher than estimates for a 0.8 percent rise.

"These figures confirm that the economy remains well on track. In terms of policy, we expect the Bank of Korea to maintain a wait-and-see stance in the near term. Inflation is not a threat, so there may be no urgency for policy action," said analysts at Mizuho Bank in a morning note.

In first-quarter earnings news, LG Display fell nearly 1 percent after posting its weakest quarterly profit in two years while chipmaker SK Hynix added 0.4 percent despite reporting a better-than-expected operating profit.

ASX up 0.2%

Australian shares hit their highest level in nearly six years for a second straight session but trading was subdued ahead of Friday's public holiday.

Atlas Iron jumped 2 percent after the company maintained its full-year production guidance in its quarterly report.

Shares of toll road developer Transurban were halted on news that it has purchased Queensland Motorways for A$7 billion.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar rose to a one-week high at $0.8636 after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised its cash rate by 25 basis points to 3 percent, as expected.

"Governor Graeme Wheeler reinforced that inflation pressures are expected to continue increasing over the next couple of years and will need to be contained. The RBNZ plans to raise interest rates towards a level at which they are no longer adding to demand. Analysts feel this is the key line. However, he was cautious on the potential impact of a higher NZD," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG.

Indian financial markets were shut for a public holiday.

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