Greater China markets shrugged off broader market sentiment to edge higher, outperforming markets elsewhere in the region.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index reversed early losses to edge up 0.22 percent by 3:03 p.m. HK/SIN. The financials sector inched higher by 0.09 percent after earlier trading in negative territory, with China Construction Bank advancing 0.12 percent while HSBC traded lower by 0.32 percent an hour before the market close.
Property developers were a mixed picture, although several large caps recorded significant gains: Country Garden tacked on 1.56 percent, Sino Land gained 3.18 percent and CK Asset rose 1.18 percent. Index heavyweight Tencent traded higher by 3.01 percent ahead of the close.
Mainland markets closed in positive territory after two straight days of losses on the benchmark Shanghai composite. Gains on Thursday also came on the back of expectation-topping private manufacturing activity data. The Shanghai composite tacked on 0.44 percent to close at 3,273.76 and the Shenzhen composite jumped 1.23 percent.
Meanwhile, the CSI 300 index, which tracks blue chips listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen, rose 0.63 percent on the day, with technology names and consumer stocks among the best-performers on the day.
Caixin manufacturing PMI for February released on Thursday came in at 51.6, a touch above the 51.3 forecast in a Reuters poll. Official manufacturing PMI had missed forecasts, with analysts noting the impact of the Lunar New Year holiday on manufacturing activity.
MSCI's broad index of shares listed in Asia Pacific excluding Japan was lower by 0.28 percent by 3:12 p.m. HK/SIN.
Markets in South Korea and Thailand were closed for holidays on Thursday.
Losses in Asia came after U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday despite the Dow Jones industrial average advancing as much as 166 points earlier in the session. The 30-stock index closed lower by 1.5 percent at 25,029.20.
Asian markets finished February with losses after a global rout in stock markets earlier that month. The Shanghai composite and Hang Seng Index were down 6.4 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively. That was their worst month in more than two years.
For the month, the Dow and S&P 500 closed lower by 4.3 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.