Over in South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.95 percent to end at 2,562.23, with recent earnings reports in focus.
Shares of SK Hynix rose 4.7 percent after the chipmaker announced Thursday that fourth-quarter operating profit came in at a record high of 4.47 trillion won ($4.42 billion). Annual operating profit for 2017, meanwhile, stood at a record 13.7 trillion won ($12.9 billion), which the company attributed to a rapid growth in overall memory demand.
Meanwhile, Posco stock reversed early losses to close higher by 1.29 percent after the steelmaker reported earnings on Wednesday.
Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 edged down by 0.08 percent to end at 6,050 as gains in the materials sector were offset by losses in utilities and industrials. Gold producers were up 2.82 percent after the metal's prices rose to their highest levels in one and a half years on the softer dollar. The heavily-weighted financials sector traded lower for the most part.
Greater China markets came under pressure on Thursday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.52 percent by 3:06 p.m. HK/SIN after closing higher for the seventh straight session on Wednesday. Financials were broadly lower, with China Construction Bank declining 1.49 percent and HSBC off by 0.35 percent ahead of the market close.
Technology names were also in negative territory, with heavyweight Tencent losing 1.62 percent. Energy-related names extended gains as oil prices climbed. Petrochina rose 3.06 percent and CNOOC gained 1.4 percent by 3:09 p.m. HK/SIN.
Mainland markets were more subdued. The Shanghai composite edged down 0.31 percent to close at 3,548.30 and the Shenzhen composite ended the session lower by 0.39 percent. Major mainland-listed banks saw declines, with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China closing down 0.54 percent. Real estate names were also broadly in negative territory: China Vanke fell 2.26 percent and Poly Real Estate lost 4.15 percent by the end of the day.
Despite the declines on Thursday, the Hang Seng has recorded gains of 9 percent year-to-date. The Shanghai composite was up 7 percent this year.
U.S. stocks closed mixed on Wednesday despite touching all-time highs earlier in the session. The moves came as markets focused on a mix of corporate earnings, trade war concerns and the broad decline in the U.S. currency.