Asian markets traded mixed on Thursday, with Tokyo continuing to outperform on speculations of a delayed sales tax hike and snap elections.
China released a set of monthly indicators for October in the afternoon session. Industrial production rose 7.7 percent on year, below expectations for an 8 percent increase in a Reuters poll. Retail sales rose 11.5 percent on year, slightly below expectations for an 11.6 percent rise. Fixed asset investment for the January-October period increased 15.9 percent, in line with expectations.
Overnight, U.S. stocks oscillated near record highs as investors mulled the slowdown in Europe and earnings from Macy's and other retailers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered from an initial 78-point loss to close little changed. The S&P 500 shed nearly 0.1 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.3 percent.
Brent crude was also in focus for trading around $80 a barrel on Thursday, near its lowest since 2010, after OPEC said demand for its oil would fall next year, while Saudi Arabia's remained silent about a possible cut in production.