Asia markets closed mostly higher on Thursday after U.S. equities ended mixed ahead of a key health care vote in Congress seen as a proxy of U.S. President Donald Trump's mandate.
Japan's Nikkei 225 wavered for most of the session and fell below the 19,000 mark, but closed up 0.23 percent or 43.9 points at 19,085.31. Yesterday, the benchmark index closed sharply lower yesterday by 2 percent to 19,041.38.
Down Under, the ASX 200 finished up 0.41 percent or 23.5 points at 5,708, underpinned by strength in its materials and energy sub-indexes. The Kospi index ended up 0.2 percent or 4.4 points at 2,172.72.
Ping An Insurance Group, China's second-largest insurer by market value, said on Wednesday after market close that its annual net profit rose by 15 percent to 62.4 billion yuan ($9.06 billion) in line with analysts' expectations. The Hong-Kong listed insurer saw its shares rise 1.85 percent on Thursday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was flat by mid-afternoon.
Shares of Tencent were down 1.69 percent, after its fourth-quarter profit lagged estimates. The Chinese investment holding company said after the market closed on Wednesday that net profit for the three months to December rose 47 percent to 10.53 billion yuan ($1.53 billion) but a Reuters poll of analysts had expected 11.75 billion yuan.
Li Ka Shing, Hong Kong's richest man, had two of his flagship companies report earnings on Wednesday after the market closed. CK Hutchison's full year net profit was up 6 percent on-year, at HK$33.01 billion ($4.25 billion) while Cheung Kong Property posted a 16 percent rise to its full-year core profit. Shares of CK Hutchison rose 1.4 percent while Cheung Kong Property advanced 1.89 percent.
Later on Thursday in the U.S., the House is expected to vote on House Speaker Paul Ryan's health care plan, but the Obamacare replacement has seen resistance not just from Democrats, but from conservative GOP members too.