Asia equities were mixed on Thursday as caution over a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting later in the day overshadowed record gains on Wall Street.
While no rate move is expected from the ECB, analysts will look for clues on further stimulus amid recent weak data. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said late on Wednesday that the central bank would have a rough time implementing U.S-style monetary easing.
"Having just recently started its private sector purchase programs and with the next round of TLTRO looming, the ECB is set to remain on hold. However, given still low growth and inflation, Draghi is likely to keep the door open to further actions," said analysts at Societe Generale in a note.
Meanwhile, the Dow and rose to historical peaks overnight, a day after the Republicans take control of the Senate and following a better-than-expected jobs report. Private employers added 230,000 jobs in October, a seventh month of job creation. The data comes before Friday's non-farm payrolls report, which is expected to show slower gains in October.
Nikkei 0.9% lower
Japan's benchmark index reversed earlier gains on profit-taking, snapping a five-day winning streak and retreating from Wednesday's seven-year closing peak. The declines came as the yen moved off a seven-year trough of 115 against the dollar hit earlier in the day.
Rakuten soared 10 percent after reporting a 76 percent annual rise in net profit during the same period.
Shanghai 0.2% higher
China's benchmark Shanghai Composite ended just six points shy of a new 20-month peak following a choppy session.
Brokerages were among the biggest laggards as investors booked profits on recent gains; China Merchants Securities fell over 1 percent while Hong Yuan Securities lost 2.5 percent.
Xinhua Media gained 1.6 percent after signing a strategic agreement for an online bookstore with Tencent. Shares of the latter firm were flat in Hong Kong.
ASX dips 0.2%
Australia's benchmark index fell for a second day after data showed the economy added 24,100 jobs in October, beating estimates. That saw the Australian dollar rise above 86 U.S. cents, off a four-year low of $0.8565 hit overnight.
Bank stocks eased a day before trading ex-dividend; National Australia Bank led losses by 0.7 percent.
Ten Network surged 7 percent after it hired investment bank Citigroup to advise on "strategic options" amid takeover speculation.
Kospi up 0.2%
South Korean shares rebounded from a one-week closing low in the previous session. Hyundai Steel rallied over 4 percent after operating profit soared 133 percent on year in the July-September quarter.