The Nikkei ended down after trading higher much of the day Thursday while other Asian markets remained little changed.
Earlier Thursday, Japanese government data showed core machinery orders rose unexpectedly by 9.3% in November, soundly beating expectations for a mere 1.2% rise.
Also in the morning, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the economy is expected to continue to recover moderately.
Elsewhere in the region, data showed the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8% in Australia last month, in line with expectations.
Stocks on the Move
Tokyo Electric Power was up 2% following government approval of the power firm’s turnaround plan but pared those gains and ended up 0.6%.
Among the big movers, Sharp Corp. was up 6.1%.
The upbeat machinery orders data was positive for equipment makers. Hitachi Construction Machinery was up 0.2% while Tadano lifted 2.2%. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries gained 1.4%.
In auto, Nissan accelerated 1.8% while Honda was up 0.8%. Mazda Motor was down 1.1%.
Index heavyweight China Mobile gained half a percent in Hong Kong, a day before it begins selling the iPhones and after it said the pre-orders for the device has hit 1 million units already.
Telecom equipment shares also gained while shares of China Mobile's smaller rivals fell sharply. China Unicom was down 2.4% while China Telecom was down 0.8%.
China South City Holdings skyrocketed a whopping 60.4% after the company said Tencent Holdings would invest about HKD1.5 billion for near about a 10% stake. Tencent Holdings pared the day’s gains but still ended 0.8% higher.
The Sensex erased early gains as the top loser Airtel dropped 4.8% after some brokerages downgraded some of the frontline telecom stocks. Airtel was downgraded by Credit Suisse and its earnings and target price were also slashed as the brokerage cited higher-than-expected bid applications for the coming 2G auction slated for next month. Eight companies have submitted applications, indicating a highly competitive scenario.
Other losers included Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, ONGC, Cipla, and Maruti Suzuki, all down in a range between 1% and 1.9%.
TCS edged up 0.71 ahead of its results due later today. The broader-market listed HCL Technologies gained 4.2% after reporting results.
In Sydney, Major miner Rio Tinto ended up 2.1%, boosting the Aussie index after an upbeat production report. Other miners also traded higher with index leader BHP Billiton up 2.5% and Fortescue Metals 3.8% higher.
Gold digger Newcrest Mining brightened 7% after J.P. Morgan raised its rating on the shares.
Rouhan Sharma does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.