Asian equities ended mixed on Thursday following weak trade data from China and minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting.
The mainland's June trade report came in well below expectations. Exports rose 7.2 percent on year, missing estimates for a 10.6 percent increase. Imports rose 5.5 percent, against expectations for a 5.8 percent increase, leaving the country with a $31.6 billion trade surplus.
"Is the glass half empty or half full? That looks to be the case for China's trade data for June. There's a bit of optimism with China's customs office expecting exports growth to accelerate in the third quarter. There is also some expectation that the government will have to do more to jumpstart the recovery with further stimulus measures to meet its 7.5% growth target," said Ryan Huang, market strategist at IG in a note.
Meanwhile, minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's June meeting pointed to the likely end of the asset-buying program in October.