Over in Seoul, the Kospi finished lower by 0.47 percent at 2,487.91. Chipmakers, which had weighed on the index in the last session, extended declines on Thursday. Samsung Electronics closed down 1.23 percent and SK Hynix shed 0.41 percent.
Automakers and manufacturing names also saw losses. Steelmakers Posco and Hyundai Steel declined 1.61 percent and 1.82 percent, respectively, while Hyundai Motor lost 0.32 percent by the end of the day.
In Sydney, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.48 percent to close at 6,067.6 — with most sectors except gold producers edging lower on the day.
The Australian dollar got a boost after data released earlier showed November retail sales rose more than expected. The currency traded at $0.7867 at 2:53 p.m. HK/SIN, which compared to levels around the $0.783 handle seen before the release.
Greater China markets clung to slight gains after trading lower in the morning. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index hovered around the flat line, trading higher by 0.03 percent at 3:10 p.m. HK/SIN. The index, which had closed higher for the 12th straight day on Wednesday for its longest winning streak ever, continued to hold above the 31,000 level.
Mainland markets closed in positive territory, with the Shanghai composite edging up buy 0.11 percent to end at 3,425.57 and the Shenzhen composite advancing 0.38 percent to finish the session at 1,953.12. The blue chip CSI 300 index closed lower by 0.05 percent, with technology and financials among the top-performing sectors. Consumer and energy names were among the worst.