Markets in Asia were mostly lower on Thursday, following a mixed close in U.S. equities overnight as minutes from the Federal Reserve's previous meeting hinted that a rate hike is coming "fairly soon."
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 finished near flat at 19,371.46, while across the Korean Strait, the Kospi was fractionally higher at 2,107.63. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was off by 0.38 percent in afternoon trade, while Chinese mainland markets were mostly lower. The Shanghai composite closed down 10.13 points, or 0.31 percent, at 3,251.08 and the Shenzhen composite finished near flat at 1,991.98.
Australia's ASX 200 fell 20.43 points, or 0.35 percent, to 5,784.66, with gains in most sectors offset by a nearly 2 percent drop in the materials sector and a 2.03 percent decline in utilities.