Mainland markets choppy
China's Shanghai Composite index finished marginally above the previous day's close, as excitement over more government stimulus faded with easing measures already priced in, analyst from China Merchant Securities told Reuters.
Meanwhile, data for April showed money supply grew at its slowest pace on record, while investment growth sank to its lowest in nearly 15 years, adding on to the case of a stubbornly persistent economic slowdown.
Decliners for Thursday include major lenders and developers; Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank traded 0.8 percent lower each, while Poly Real Estate sold down 4.3 percent.
China Railway Group on Wednesday won a $390 million contract to build a Russian high-speed railway, that will become part of the new Silk Road project. But the news didn't seem to have much of a boost effect, with shares of the infrastructure firm slumping 2.6 percent.
Hong Kong shares traded indifferent for most of the session. In focus was Tencent, which bounced up 3.1 percent after announcing a 22 percent rise in first-quarter revenue and 7 percent growth in profits compared to the same period a year ago.
For the stock, HSBC maintains a "buy" rating and raised its target price to 182 Hong Kong dollars from 181 Hong Kong dollars, as analysts expect faster-than-expected growth in advertising to offset slower growth in gaming.
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Nikkei falls 1%
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell to a near one-week low as the yen hovered at the low-end of the 119 handle.
Railway companies plummeted, with Central Japan Railway and Odakyu Electric Railway sinking 4 and 3.4 percent, respectively.
Fast Retailing, owner of clothes brand Uniqlo, retreated 2.5 percent, while other index heavyweights Fanuc and Softbank closed down 1.4 and 1 percent each.
On the corporate news front, Nissan Motor rose 2.4 percent despite announcing a below-view guidance for the current financial year on Wednesday. After announcing a partnership for deeper collaboration on products and technologies, Toyota Motor slipped 0.2 percent, while Mazda Motor jumped 1 percent.
Toshiba edged up 0.8 percent after the company said the mark-down in profits due to accounting irregularities is estimated at a total of around $420 billion over the past three years.
Meanwhile, Sharp is due to unveil details of its new business strategy. According to a report by the Nikkei business daily, Sharp would reduce its capital to 500 million yen ($4.2 million) from over 120 billion yen, instead of a previously planned cut to 100 million yen. Shares of the loss-making Japanese electronics maker pared early gains to move down 1 percent.