Chinese equities surged on Thursday in a catch-up rally as the market resumed trading following a week-long holiday, while the rest of the region put up a lackluster performance, shrugging off the positive cues from the mainland and Wall Street.
Overnight, major U.S. indexes closed moderately higher, helped by a recovery in health care stocks and gains in energy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.7 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite gained 0.8 and 0.9 percent, respectively.
The key focus of investors was on China markets, which reopened after National Day holidays. The benchmark Shanghai Composite closed up 3.0 percent at 3,143.36, paring some of its earlier gains.
"China is back from its week-long National Day celebrations and has plenty to catch up on," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG. While the market was closed from October 1-7, the Hang Seng Index rose 8 percent, while H-shares, or Chinese companies that trade on the Hong Kong stock exchange, gained 10.5 percent, according to IG.
Elsewhere in Greater China, Taiwan's Taiex edged down 0.6 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.7 percent at the close. Bucking the downtrend, shares of movie theater equipment maker IMAX China, rallied in their trading debut in Hong Kong, last seen at around HK$34.10 ($4.40), well above the initial public offering (IPO) price of HK$31.00.