Shanghai Comp rebounds
China's Shanghai Composite index rebounded 0.5 percent in the afternoon session following fresh moves by the central bank to improve short-term liquidity.
Shipping stocks mostly recovered from the morning sell-off. Domestic ship carriers like China Shipping Development and Cosco Shipping closed up 1.8 and 1 percent each, after being sold off on the back of rule amendments by authorities regarding ships it will allow to berth at mainland ports.
However, a lackluster financial sector limited gains on the bourse. Citic Securities and Haitong Securities slumped over 1 percent, respectively. Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications closed down 0.3 percent each.
Meanwhile, shares of ZTE Corporation finished 0.6 percent lower in Shenzhen after the telecommunications provider applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to re-examine five patents of Nasdaq-listed Vringo and its subsidiaries.
In Hong Kong, telecom shares were among the top performers. China Telecom and China Unicom rallied 2 percent on news that the two companies could merge, outpacing a 0.3 percent gain on the Hang Seng index.
Read MoreChinese monetary policy undergoes quiet revolution
ASX sheds 0.4%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 pared early gains to finish lower for the fourth straight session on the back of a mixed resources sector and as markets reacted to a slew of earnings reports.
Oil and gas explorer Santos lost 1.6 percent, hit by a double whammy of lower energy prices and news that it is taking a $1.6 billion impairment charge on a string of production and exploration assets after factoring in the impact plunging oil prices. Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search tanked 0.9 and 0.3 percent each.
Australia's largest telecommunications company Telstra and real estate firm Mirvac erased gains to slip 0.6 percent and finish flat, respectively, despite reporting a 22.4 and 13.4 percent jump in half-year profit. Improved first half profit growth also failed to lift shares of ASX, which sagged 1.2 percent.
The Australian dollar fell 0.9 percent to a one-week low of $0.7647 to the dollar after employment figures showed the economy lost 12,200 jobs in January and the employment rate rose to 6.4 percent. Economists polled by Reuters expected the addition of 5,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent.
Read MoreOnce an investment magnet, Australia loses allure
Kospi slips 0.2%
South Korea's Kospi index edged down to a more than two-week low as energy-related stocks and index heavyweights turned negative. Hyundai Motor led declines with a 1.3 percent slump, while Posco, Samsung Electronics and KB Financial Group closed down nearly 1 percent each.
Oil-related counters were hit by the plunge in oil prices overnight; SK Innovation and S-oil receded more than 3 percent each, while petrochemical stock LG Chem traded 1.6 percent lower. LG Display outperformed the bourse to rise 2.4 percent on news that it plans to invest between 1 and 1.2 trillion won this year to add capacity in an existing large-panel OLED production line.