Asia Markets

Asia stocks mixed on profit-taking; Samsung falls nearly 4%


Asian equities were mixed on Thursday as profit-taking overshadowed robust U.S. economic data overnight.

Argentina's failure to strike a deal to avert a debt default also also weighed on sentiment. Speaking at a news conference late on Wednesday, Argentina's economy minister, Axel Kicillof, defended the government by reiterating that Buenos Aires sent its required payments to trustee banks.

Read MoreArgentine default 101: What you need to know

On Wall Street, the and ended higher after U.S. growth in the second quarter expanded 4 percent, compared with a 2.1 percent contraction in the previous three months. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve cut its monthly bond-buying program by another $10 billion and gave an upbeat assessment of the economy at the end of its two-day meeting.

Nikkei 0.1% lower

Japanese benchmark Nikkei index erased gains after hitting a new six-month high earlier in the session, snapping its four-day winning streak The yen was partly to blame as the currency moved off a four-month low of 103.15 against the greenback hit overnight.

Why Japan will not fall back into recession

In earnings news, Nintendo tumbled 6.5 percent after its operating loss nearly doubled in the April-June period from a year earlier and Sony fell 1 percent ahead of reporting quarterly results.

Read MoreToys could save Nintendo's gaming fortunes

Mitsubishi Motors jumped 2.6 percent after announcing a 71 percent surge in quarterly net profit and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial jumped 1.7 percent despite a smaller-than-estimated profit drop.

China shares mixed

Shanghai stocks jumped 1 percent, posting their best monthly performance since 2012. Earlier in the session, the Shanghai Composite bounced between gains and losses after the International Monetary Fund warned that the country should set a lower growth target.

Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial rallied 5 percent on reports that its chairman and other executives bought more than 40 million shares this week.

Hong Kong stocks extended gains into an eight session, rising to a new seven-year high.

ASX up 0.2%

Australia's benchmark rose to new six-year highs for the third straight session as investors dismissed data showing that June export prices slumped 7.9 percent while building approvals fell 5 percent.

Read MoreHousing bubble fears resurface in Australia

Woodside Petroleum eased 1 percent after it revealed that over 70 percent of proxy votes have shareholders in favor of a share buyback offer from Shell.

Argentina is in 'uncharted territory': Lawyer

Kospi dips 0.3%

South Korea shares retreated from Wednesday's three-year high, breaking four straight days of gains, due to profit-taking.

Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics tanked nearly 4 percent after reporting a 25 percent fall in earnings during the second quarter from the year before.

Online portal operator Naver lost 2.6 percent despite reporting a 39 percent rise in operating profit.

Emerging markets in focus

India's Nifty index finished lower by 0.9 percent ahead of the expiry of July derivative contracts.

Philippine shares finished flat ahead of a monetary policy decision. The nation's central bank raised its main interest rate on Thursday for the first time in three years.