Investors watched mainland Chinese markets, which returned to trade Thursday following the long Lunar New Year holiday.
By the afternoon, the Shanghai composite rose 0.39% while the Shenzhen component fell 1.552%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 1.16%.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan was 0.3% lower while the Topix index declined 1.11%. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.06%.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 traded little changed.
Australia’s unemployment rate decreased to 6.4% in January, according to seasonally adjusted estimates released Thursday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics. That compared against December’s unemployment rate of 6.6%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.52%.13.
Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 90.27 points higher at 31,613.02. The S&P 500 declined fractionally to finish its trading day at 3,931.33 while the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.58% lower at about 13,965.50.
Oil prices rose in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.23% to $65.13 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.95% to $61.72 per barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.95 following a recent rise from levels below 90.3. The Japanese yen traded at 105.82 per dollar, weaker than levels below 105.6 against the greenback seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.775 after seeing levels around $0.78 earlier in the trading week.
Edited By: Aditi Pokharel