Asian markets were mostly lower on Thursday, as traders focused on a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping later in the day.
Trump has expressed ahead of the Florida summit that North Korea will be a key area of focus after the hermit state's latest ballistic missile launch. Trade will also be in the spotlight during the two-day summit — although it is unlikely that major breakthroughs will be made, DBS said in a note.
"(The) market is keeping expectations low for tangible outcomes in regards to trade and currency from the meeting. In particular, the yuan forwards' discount to the spot prices remains stable. It suggests investors see Trump's tough talk on currency manipulation a limited impact on Beijing's currency regime," the note added.
Japanese markets closed lower due to the strength in the yen. The Nikkei 225 dropped 1.40 percent or 264.21 points to finish at 18,597.03, and the Topix plunged by 1.63 percent or 24.48 points to finish at 1,480.18. The yen traded at a four-and-a-half-month high at 110.50 against the dollar on safe-haven buying.
South Korea's Kospi fell by 0.37 percent or 8.10 points to 2,152.75. Australian benchmark ASX 200 closed 0.34 percent or 19.897 points lower, pressured by its telecommunications and financials sub-indexes.
But mainland Chinese shares bucked the trend. The Shanghai Composite tracked higher by 0.35 percent or 11.29 points to close at 3,281.60, while the Shenzhen Composite climbed 0.297 percent or 6 points to finish at 2,029.21.
Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index was lower by 0.39 percent at 2:39 pm HK/SIN time.