A rally in Indian equities pushed up most Asian markets on Thursday after India's new central bank governor rolled out plans to liberalise the financial markets.
However, uncertainty surrounding the timing of the US Federal Reserve's planned reduction in monetary stimulus capped gains outside India.
The Japanese Nikkei finished 0.08% higher or 10.95 points at 14,064.82.
Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.37% lower or 19.10 points at 5,142.50.
South Korea's Kospi finished 0.96% higher or 18.62 points at 1,951.65.
India's BSE Sensex was trading 2.27% higher or 420.84 points to 18,988.39.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading 1.45% higher or 323.73 points to 22,649.95.
The Shanghai Composite was trading 0.08% lower or 1.69 points to 2,125.93.
Raghuram Rajan, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, took over as the chief of the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday. Rajan wasted no time and announced that he plans to attract more foreign investments by subsidising hedging costs for banks. He also proposes to push for more rupee trade settlements and market liberalisation.
In Japan, the country's central bank left its monetary policy unchanged on Thursday. The Bank of Japan said the world's third largest economy "is recovering moderately".
Wall Street Up
On Wall Street, indices ended higher following upbeat US Federal Reserve data. The Fed's Beige Book report said the US economy grew at a "modest to moderate" pace in July and August.
Meanwhile, market participants continued to track developments at the White House, with the Obama regime asking lawmakers to approve their plan to attack Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
The Dow finished 96.91 points higher at 14,930.87, pushed up by Intel and Coca-Cola. The S&P 500 closed 13.31 points higher at 1,653.08 while the Nasdaq ended 36.43 points higher at 3,649.04.
Company Stock Movements
In Mumbai, ICICI Bank jumped 8% while HDFC Bank shot up 7%.
In Tokyo, Honda Motor added 2% while rival Toyota Motor inched up 0.5% higher after the two firms reported higher sales in the US for the month of August. Honda's August US sales jumped 26.7% while Toyota's US sales rose more than 18% last month.
Sony gained 1% after it unveiled a waterproof smartphone with a high-end compact camera at the Berlin IFA show on Wednesday.
In Shanghai, Shanghai International Port was down 1%, after soaring 95% over the past nine sessions. Shanghai Jinqiao Export Processing Zone shed 0.9% after soaring 70% over the same period. The two firms are expected to benefit from Beijing's recent decision to develop a free-trade zone in Shanghai.
Vanke, China's largest property developer surged 1.7% after it reported a 34% increase in sales. Rival Poly Real Estate gained 1.5%.
Hainan Airlines was down 1.5% while rivals Southern Air and Air China shed 1% each. Hainan's Vice President Wei Hou reportedly told the media that China would deregulate its domestic and international aviation market.
In Sydney, gold miner Kingsgate Consolidated fell 2.5%. Resources major BHP Billiton and rival Rio Tinto shed 1%.
In Seoul, index heavyweight Samsung Electronics shot up 2% after it unveiled its watch-phone - "Galaxy Gear."
SK Hynix dropped nearly 4% on news that it shut operations at its fire-damaged factory in China. The company said it expects to resume operations "in a short time period." LG Display lost 1.4%.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail: