South Korea's Kospi index ended little changed after choppy trade, but the won deepened its rout to hover near a two-year low against the U.S. dollar following a lackluster growth report card for the second quarter.
The central bank's advance estimates showed the economy expanded 2.2 percent on-year in the June quarter, a tad below the 2.3 percent forecast from a Reuters poll, and below the 2.5 percent growth in the previous three months. Last month, the country announced a financial package of more than 15 trillion won ($13 billion), including a supplementary budget, to boost growth as a deadly outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) threatened to harm the already shaky economy.
A barrage of corporate news also dominated the market; Hyundai Motor climbed 5.3 percent to a five-week high after saying it will pay an interim dividend for the first time, of 1,000 won per share.
Memory chip maker SK Hynix trimmed gains to 2.1 percent, after surging nearly 5 percent earlier in the day following the announcement of a share buyback worth 859.1 billion won, as it attempts to boost a stock price that has languished in recent months amid worries about a weaker business outlook. The company also reported a 26.9 percent rise in second-quarter operating profit, missing markets expectations, early Thursday.
"The buyback is a reaction to the recent selloff in its stock, [which fell] significantly over the past few months due to weak PC demand which is affecting the DRAM prices," Mehdi Hosseini, senior analyst and senior VP of Semiconductors at Susquehanna Financial Group, told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia." "They are doing this to stabilize the share price."
LG Display trimmed losses to 1.5 percent after its second-quarter operating profit beat market consensus to come in at 488 billion won.
Oil refiner SK Innovation plummeted 6.9 percent on the back of news that it will halt the initial public offering (IPO) process for its SK Lubricants unit.
Read MoreDon't be scared: Australia stocks still a buy
ASX slips 0.4%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 index slid on the back of losses in the mining and banking sectors.
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto stayed firmly in the red with a 3 and 1.9 percent drop, respectively. Fortescue Metals reversed a briefly higher open to slump 6 percent after it said it shipped slightly more iron ore than expected last fiscal year and plans to deepen cost-cutting amid a downturn in the price of the steel-making raw material.
Newcrest Mining, which bore the brunt of the selloff for the past few sessions, jumped 2.7 percent on news that the gold miner met its full-year production guidance.
Meanwhile, New Zealand's central bank cut its official cash rate by 25 basis points for a second consecutive review, while flagging the probability of further easing due to a softer economic outlook and low inflation.
Following the move, which was in line with expectations, the local stock market nursed modest losses, while the New Zealand dollar rose as high as $0.6650 against the U.S dollar, from $0.6565 before the statement.
However, analysts say the rise in the kiwi will be short-lived. "In the last hour or so since the rate cut, [the currency] has been seeing a kneejerk reaction or a short squeeze. I expect the kiwi dollar to mellow a little throughout the day and return to weakness for the year," John Doyle, director of markets at Tempus, told CNBC's "The Rundown."